September 17 – Life Verses – Philippians 2:3b-4

Read Philippians 2:3-4

A couple years ago, Psychological Science published a study suggesting that people are becoming more individualistic.  And that’s not just an American trend, it’s a global trend.  In general, life is becoming more and more about us.

And many of you are thinking, “I didn’t need a scientific study to tell me that!  I see it every day!”

Entitled consumers.  Fascination with celebrity. Infatuation with appearance. Obsession with “likes.”

Yet, somehow, all this entitlement and narcissism and self-centeredness doesn’t sit well with us.  Deep within, we know it’s a problem.  But why?

While it’s totally consistent with our fallen nature, it’s completely contrary to our created design.  And as Christians, it’s inconsistent with our new creation.

The problem with being consumed with ourselves is that we are oblivious to the concerns for others.  We lack empathy.  When I put me first, I put others second.

Paul admonishes us to change our focus.  He said,

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Most people don’t get up in the morning and spend energy thinking about how others are doing. Most people are only concerned with their own pursuits. And that’s why many people are unhappy with their lives!

Value others. Pick your head up from your phone and see others and their needs. Change your focus.  Shift your attention away from yourself toward others. Find ways to encourage others and build them up.  In fact, Paul says that saying “no” to self and “yes” to others will bring joy into your life.

Throughout my lifetime I have missed more opportunities than I would care to count because my eyes weren’t open or directed toward the needs and the consideration of others.

Let’s agree to put others first. Let’s agree to look out for the interests of others.  Let’s agree to think of ourselves less and others more.  And let’s spread some joy.

David Lawson

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