What are your plans for the weekend? How about the next vacation, have you started thinking about where you’d like to go and what you’d like to do? How about the work that needs to be done around your house, are you planning what you need to buy at the home center? So much of our lives are spent thinking about the things we need and would like to do. We put great thought and effort into mapping out the ideal vacation or the perfect landscaping project. Did you ever pause to consider how much time we spend designing our lives compared to how little we think about sharing the gospel of Jesus with our friends and neighbors?
I don’t think we realize how incredibly self-absorbed we are. Not many of us would call ourselves selfish or conceited. We generally like to believe we are caring and giving people. Perhaps a little reality check will help clarify the truth. How much time do you spend each day planning the details of your own life? How much time do you spend planning how you can make the life of someone else better? Unless you are the extremely rare exception, there is a great gap between those two answers.
Society and culture have conditioned us to think about ourselves first. We chase after our own comforts and pleasure before considering the plight of someone else. What if we were to turn that paradigm upside down? What if our default thought process was to think of others before ourselves? How might that change the world in which we live? Instead of the shopping excursion to enhance an already bulging closet, what if we spent the money on a wardrobe for someone in need? In place of buying a new car to replace the perfectly fine car we already own, what if we bought a couple of used cars for people who had no reliable transportation? What if we were to forgo the coffee and soft drinks and buy groceries for the poor instead? In other words, what if our lives looked like Jesus?
How have we wandered so far away from the life modeled by Christ? It’s all about us these days, but Jesus taught that the life of a disciple was all about serving others (Mark 9:35, Matthew 25:31-46). We have allowed Satan to blind our eyes to the reality of this truth. By spending an hour in church each week and putting a few dollars in the offering plate, we consider ourselves good “Christians” and don’t give God much thought throughout the rest of our week. It’s so subtle. Selfishness, jealousy, and pride have slowly crept into our lives over the years until now it is firmly planted in everything we do.
We need to change the way we live, think, and work. We need to operate with an “others first” mentality. Above all, we need to direct our lives in the manner modeled for us by Jesus. Serve Him first; serve others second. Do this, and your own life will be full beyond measure.