Philippians 2:3-4 (CEB)
3 Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. 4 Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.
Me, myslef, and I. Looking out for #1. The one who dies with most toys wins. I’m gonna get mine. Second place is first loser.
You get it. I get it. We are inundated with selfish, me first messages. Most advertising is built on the principle of getting you to want something for yourself, and it works, it sells. Selfish ambition seems to be a part of our human nature and our culture. What’s the alternative? A different way.
I tend to think of this in terms of My Way vs. God’s Way, or Our Culture vs. God’s Culture, or Our Economy vs. God’s Economy. These ways are constantly at odds? So which way will you and I choose today? If we don’t choose intentionally, we will choose the selfish, self-preservation way where we win and others lose. By the way, how’s that way work out for you? It will leave you hollow and empty and wanting more, at least that’s my experience.
So here’s the different way. God’s way. As Paul goes on to write here in Philippians, the way of Jesus. (Philippians 2: 5-11, probably quoting one of the first hymns/poems about Jesus, so this seem to be advice from the entire 1st generation of disciples.) When we pray The Lord’s Prayer, we pray, “Thy/Your will be done…” Do we mean it? Do we really want it? Because that means above all else today, I will try to do things God’s way. (And I/we will mess that up.)
But here’s the thing, it is a better, more fulfilling way. It leads to better life for others, and fulfilling, filled full, life for you, a life filled full with God’s blessings and contentment. The early Church thought so much of it, they named themselves “The Way”, meaning God’s way, a different way from the ways of the world, a way of humility, sacrifice, and putting others first.
Today, I choose to be part of The Way. Loving God and loving neighbor. Humility. Others first. Take up my cross and follow the one who humbled himself, though in the form of God to the point of death on the cross for you and me.
So, who can you help today. Go out of your way to make someone else’s day better.
Prayer: Lord, Thy will be done. Help me put aside selfishness and self-preservation. Help me to help others for your glory. Show me The Way, and I will follow. Amen