PHILIPPIANS 2:19–21 – I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
THEME OF THE DAY: CUT SOME WINDOWS. A psychiatrist was counseling a patient who was extremely depressed and overly focused on life being all about them. The doctor gave the following advice, “You should cut some windows in your selfishness. You must do this not only to let the sun in but to let your eyes look out. See the children playing. Notice the neighbor working in his garden. Watch folks passing along the street. Count the cars as they go by. This will be excellent therapy. You have forgotten that there are other people in the world besides yourself.”
Though secular counseling cannot solve what is described in the last paragraph – selfishness – because it is a spiritual issue requiring spiritual resources, the doctor did identify a biblical principle to overcome this sin; stop focusing on oneself and get our eyes and thoughts on others. It is the exact same principle the Apostle Paul shares in today’s scripture.
The whole of the Christian life is defined in simple, not easy, but simple terms and conditions by our Lord – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24). He listed the first requirement to be a life of selflessness, not selfishness, then it is followed by the two ways to accomplish this self-denying life; commit to daily death of personal desires and put obedience to God’s will before one’s own. And this battle is just that – a battle of great intensity and life-long, never knowing a ceasefire or surrender.
As our Lord defines the selfless life in His gospels and steps to achieve it, today’s scripture offers us an all-important attitude that must be present and ever increasing in us if we want to live the Christian life as Jesus defines and desires. It is revealed in five words – genuinely concerned for your welfare. The sin of selfishness might be defined as obsessed with oneself at the expense of others. It is living a life only looking in the mirror and not looking beyond the small, small world of “me, my, and mine.” For a Christian, such a life is a contradiction of what it means to be a Christian and guarantees a walk with Jesus in name only. There will be no spiritual joy, peace, or power and any talk of experiencing fellowship with the self-denying Savior will be only in words, not reality.
So, let’s evaluate our “houses” which is our hearts. We may need to take the “doc’s advice” and cut out some windows to let us see beyond ourselves. There is a world outside of us needing to see and hear of the Savior who came to free people from the bondage of living in a me, my, and mine world.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I allow selfishness, not selflessness, more define my life.”
QUOTE: “Christ came to deliver us from the sin of selfishness. Salvation never leaves us selfish.”
Because of Him,