Studies show that most people, when asked to evaluate themselves, rate themselves more highly than they really should. It’s human nature to believe that we are right in our decisions, sure of our actions, and more capable than most people around us. And the reason it’s human nature is because it’s sin – the deadly disease all of us are afflicted with.
The problem with this sin is that if we all feel more important than those around us, then our cares and concerns are more important than other’s cares and concerns. So we spend our time on our own issues, rather than helping others. Or maybe we even spend time doing the things we really enjoy, ignoring those in need around us because, “that’s their problem.”
If anybody could take that attitude, it would be a king reigning from his throne, looking down on his poor and pitiful subjects, glad that he isn’t one of them. But here is what makes Jesus, so amazing and worthy of our worship. He is a king, who gave up everything, to live among the poor and destitute people of this earth. And why? Because he cared more about our cares and concerns than about himself.
In this chapter, Paul is holding Jesus up as a model for all of us who call Jesus our King and Lord. We are challenged to see others as more important than ourselves, to be willing to give up our comfort, convenience, time and money, to help others in need. Will you accept the challenge to live for the sake of others rather than yourself?
Questions to Consider:
- What is one hobby, or item, or moment that you distinctly remember giving up for someone else’s benefit? How did you feel when you gave of something that was important to you?
- What is one selfish interest that you cling most tightly to, sometimes at the expense of others? Ask God to help you give up that selfish interest, to sacrifice your own unhealthy desires for the benefit of those around you.
- Imagine how it would feel to walk into your home or into our church if everybody was living as Paul describes in verses 3 & 4 – in putting others’ interests before your own. That would be a community I want to be a part of! What small step can you take to do your part in creating a family and a church community of people who think more highly of others than themselves?