How Does This Benefit Me?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

One day at work, I noticed a repeating theme running through my head as I checked my inbox and talked to colleagues. I got a request to attend a meeting at 9 o’clock. I asked myself, “How does this benefit me?” Later that morning, a few of my colleagues asked if I wanted to join them for lunch to discuss one of their upcoming projects. Again, I asked myself, “How does this benefit me?” 

This me-first way of thinking sneaked into my personal life. I wanted something in return from family members and friends for my help. At times I even asked for more than I deserved. As a Christian, I knew better than to accept the view that says it is right to put yourself first. My selfishness bothered me more than I care to admit.

Challenging today’s me-first culture is what Jesus is asking of us.

Christ wants us to value others more than ourselves. However, we shouldn’t view this as another obligation that just gets in the way of our happiness. 

No, it’s not what Jesus intended.

Each act of sacrificial service for the benefit of others, whether big or small, strengthens the relationship bond with Christ. And when we’re inspired to serve others with this view of wanting to draw near to God, we will gain from the people we help more than one can imagine, especially from our Father in heaven. 

Christ promised an abundant life for those who choose to serve others before themselves—because far less happiness is achieved when we choose to serve mostly ourselves.

Lord, give us the grace to prevent selfishness from consuming our lives that we fail to reach out in love to you and to those who are in need of our help. Amen.

Doug (CA)