September 24, 2021 – Philippians 2:1-4
More and more these days, I am noticing a significant “me first” mentality in people. Whether it is the dude at the buffet taking the last egg roll along with the 4 OTHERS HE ALREADY TOOK so that I have to wait, or the drive-thru double lane stand-off after you both complete your order, there appears to be a lack of thinking of others first.
That doesn’t mean that it isn’t always happening or that there are only rude people out there these days. By all means no! BUT it seems like the moments where people elevate their own needs over the needs of others stick out like a super-lighted marquis sign to me… and they are so glaringly off-putting that I wonder if this is becoming the norm or just a phase. What does God have to say about this?
Well… reread verse 3. Then reread it again. God, through Paul’s writing, is making it abundantly clear that we should not be selfish, and that we should think of others first. Why is that? Is it to earn God’s favor? Is it so we can impress people into following God? Is it to throw it back in the face of those who would choose differently? No to all of those! So why do it?
An author I read once put it this way… he was speaking to the question “why should I pray?” If God already knows what I need, why do it? His answer, and I think it applies to the idea of putting others first is this, “If it was important enough for Jesus to do, then I should probably do it too.”
Think about it this way. Jesus consistently put the needs of others first… all the way to the cross. And the loving thing to do is to follow that example. Is it easy? Not always. But it has a better chance at winning someone over to God than cutting someone off in the drive-thru.
Questions for reflection:
- Where do you think this “me first” attitude comes from? Do you often find yourself thinking that way too?
- Why is it hard to put the needs of others first? What does putting others' needs first do to our relationship with them?
Put that into practice today!