Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 2:3-5
Today’s post seems somewhat of a counterpoint to Tuesday’s “Life is Good” declaration. Not that I was in any way wrong yesterday, but that so much of what makes life good is so easily discarded, and bypassed, and ignored, and rolled over when it would be just as easy to simply enjoy our blessings and live at peace with one another.
I think this is why our recent study of The Seven Deadly Sins at WFPC has been so helpful, and why the current series examining Christian Virtues is such a critically important point of emphasis.
So much pain is completely avoidable:
I know too many people who are experiencing excruciating heartbreak and pain that should never exist.
You see, I look at the world we live in (yes, I admit to reading far too much news this week) and just about all of it, all the misery and pain and conflict and destruction, is completely unnecessary because it is caused by people who make selfish decisions.
Oh, I understand the fact of disease, and that natural disasters are part of living in creation, and that accidents happen. But what I’m talking about is the pain caused by broken relationships, and greed, and selfishness, and pride, and deceit, and dishonesty, and the hunger for power, and the breakdown of trust…
You see, everything I celebrated in yesterday’s post (commitment, kindness, trust, respect, faithfulness, love, shared purpose, selflessness…) is possible even in the middle of all those things we don’t have any control over. Fact is, faithfulness and trust and selflessness are the glue that holds humanity together.
This is what makes me sad:
And I guess that is what makes me so sad sometimes. The fact there is enough potential pain and misery available by default without causing distress and heartbreak and brokenness via selfishness and bad behavior!
I know it’s not easy. I understand that nobody is perfect. I get that. But we have to try harder to be selfless, we must put the needs of others ahead of our own, it is imperative that we are held accountable in community, and we must put ourselves in a more intentional relationship with God as followers of The Way of Jesus.
I’m going to repeat that, as a bullet list:
- we have to try harder to be selfless,
- we must put the needs of others ahead of our own,
- it is imperative that we are held accountable in community,
- and we must put ourselves in a more intentional relationship with God as followers of The Way of Jesus.
The good news is that all things are possible through Christ – “If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23)!
I appreciate the way Paul encouraged the believers in Philippians 2: “Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus.”
This is not magic, people! This is trying hard, and putting others first, and making sure we have Jesus at our side.
I don’t care how old you are – 8, 17, 26, 37, 45, or 63 – it is never too late to begin to do the right thing.
Peace, and I mean that in every way – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.