Friday, June 20, 2014

Learning to Forget Myself, and Look to the Needs of Others

In review of Philippians 2:4 it says, “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

Bottom Line:
Look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.

What this means to me:
I am to not be so caught up in myself and my own welfare, but be interested, concerned and watch out for what is better for others. The starting point for happiness is to shift the focus away from myself. If all I think about is myself, I’ll end up being a miserable person. If I truly want to be happy in life, I have to care about the needs of those around me. Paul gives Timothy as an example of this in Philippians 2:20-21: “There is no one like Timothy for having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plans and not those of Jesus Christ” (LB). I would say that most are only concerned about their plans and rarely look out for the interests of others. Most people don’t get up in the morning and give their first thought to how someone else is doing. Most people are concerned with their own problems. This is likely why most people are unhappy with their lives!  To become an unselfish person, I’ll have to change my focus. I’ll have to shift my focus away from yourself to others. This is not something that comes naturally, so it’s something I have to learn to do. One way to do this is to be intentional about looking away from myself and to the needs of others, where I’ll find happiness in serving God through serving others. Philippians 2:4 says, “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (MSG). I often allow the goals and commitments of work and school distract me from focusing on others. I need to refocus myself in my morning quiet times toward serving versus being served. Today, when someone interacts with me, I will stop what I’m doing and focus my attention on them. I will work on helping them with their need or needs.