Sometimes we can find ourselves being ‘me first’ people. We want to ensure our needs are met before others. But the Bible says: ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but…to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:3-5 NIV). That’s how Jesus treated people, and we’ve been called to do the same. Living this way isn’t easy, or convenient. It requires sacrifice. And it goes against everything our self-centred natures tell us. Each day we have to choose to show grace and value the needs of others. Grace and humility are like items of clothing; we have to put them on each morning and wear them all day. In fact, Colossians 3 actually uses this analogy: ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’ (v.12 NIV). We might wonder how we can possibly live like that, but if we draw daily on God’s grace, it will help us to be able to put others first. Everybody we meet is fighting a battle of some kind, and we may be the one person that crosses their path who is able to speak a word of encouragement to them. The Bible says: ‘Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones’ (Proverbs 16:24 NIV). We need to actively be looking for ways to support and encourage others. Let’s be a generation who cares about those around us, and let’s admit that we don’t always have to be first.
Take a few minutes to pray this prayer today: ‘Lord, teach me to control my competitive nature and turn that energy into loving and lifting others. Show me how You did it, and help me to do it too.’
The UCB Word For You