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December 14: Focus on Others

Scripture

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

 

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

 

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

 

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

 

When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Philippians 2:3-8

 

Reflection

It’s almost beyond comprehension for us to think about God becoming a baby, starting as a divine seed in the womb where he lived in darkness for nine months. Then he was forced out of the darkness into the light in a bloody, messy, birth process. When he first opened his eyes, he may have seen a cow or donkey in the stable where he was born. It wasn’t a clean place to enter the world, but it would do.

Actually, if the infant Jesus could have spoken, I think he would have said, “It is good,” just as he did at the creation of the world.

Jesus was God, but he was willing to set aside those privileges. He accepted the humble form of a human being. While he was in human form, he humbled himself to obey God and subjected himself to a criminal’s death.

God chose to be humble rather than lord it over us. He entered the world in a way that was humble.

Just as Christ chose to be humble, he chose you and I to be humble. God doesn’t call us to seek great things for ourselves. He doesn’t want us to be selfish or try to impress people. Rather, he wants us to think of others as better than ourselves. he wants us to take an interest in others and not be so self-absorbed in our own interests. Basically, he wants us to have the attitude that Christ demonstrated, humility.

Consider ways you can put others first. In what areas are you self-absorbed? In what ways could you set aside your interests and preferences to demonstrate genuine attentiveness to others? See how much of a conversation you can keep focused on the other person. Make a game of it, if it helps you pay attention. Learn to ask about others more and talk about yourself less. We must learn to ask God to help us be humble and put others first.

 

God doesn’t call us to seek great things for ourselves. He doesn’t want us to be selfish or try to impress people.

 

Prayer

Lord, I have not been very humble in how I spend my time, money, and even how I engage in conversation. Too much of my life focuses on me. Please work through me to reach out to others. I can’t seem to do a very good job on my own, so I’m going to have to depend on you to let your love for others flow through me. Let me see people the way you see them. Teach me how to build others up, rather than building my own little empire. Let your love and grace flow through me so there’s less of me and a lot more of you when I deal with other people.

 

 


 

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