Abandon Self with Reckless Self-Abandon

I’m selfish. There’s my confession. And just when I think I’m starting to get over it, I’m reminded that I still tend to view the world as it relates to me. But Paul encouraged us:

Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. – Philippians 2:3-4 MSG

It’s that last phrase that really catches my attention. “Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” I agree with C. S. Lewis, who said, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.” I’ve come to the conclusion that I live in one of two mindsets:

  • I think of myself and fail to help others.
  • I think of others, which helps me more than I realize.

When I say I’m selfish, it isn’t that I have to have my way or everything I want. Rather it’s that I sometimes fail to empathize with the pain of others because my mind is on my own needs instead. But we don’t have to look far to find hurting people. There’s a whole world full of billions of them. They work in the cubicle next to yours and live in the house across the street. They even sit on your pew on Sunday.

What if you spent one day thinking of others first at every possible opportunity? What if you spent that day peering into the lives of the broken, oppressed, and enslaved? And what if you put yourself in their shoes instead of your own?

How would your life change if it truly revolved around God and His purpose for you, rather than yourself?

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Brandon Cox
Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.

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