July 10, 2017

Everyone should look out not (only) for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 2:4-5

It had been a long year, but it was finally over. My attitude was poor and I was tired. What I wanted was to have some time to myself and relax for a couple of weeks. But that wasn’t going to happen! For some reason that I can’t remember, I had committed to serve at a sports camp out of state. All I could think about was packing, traveling over 150 miles and having the glamorous title of “Hydration Coordinator.” What that actually meant was that I would be hauling water to campers all day long for a week. It certainly wasn’t going to be the opportunity to relax that I so desperately wanted. Did I mention that my attitude was bad? As the days passed, something unexpected happened. I interacted with the campers and staff. I laughed a lot. I realized the importance of my assignment and I began to enjoy myself. By thinking more about others, I thought about myself and my issues less.  Serving others often does that.

Selfishness does not look very good on us. I was miserable and I’m sure I was a real joy to be around. The apostle Paul addresses this issue clearly in his letter to the Philippians. Selfishness brings us trouble. I have seen many good teams and even a few churches crumble because of selfishness. We must do everything we possibly can to love each other and work together. Serving others is good medicine for a nasty attitude. When we put the needs of others ahead of our own, we are following the example of Jesus Christ who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Lord, strip me of my selfishness today. Help me to respond to the needs of others rather than focusing on my own selfish desires. Amen. 

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