Considering others

I’m struggling with the dichotomy of selfishness and selflessness. And I don’t mean I am in the middle, that would imply some kind of balance. I mean one minute I’m daydreaming about a bigger house or maybe a new addition to the house, or simply new carpeting, or a trip to Hawai’i or Florida or somewhere beach-y, with waves crashing up on the shore and a cool breeze, seagulls caw-cawing as they … wait a minute, where was I? Oh, and then remembering all that we DO have especially in such tough economic times where everyone is feeling the stress of doing more with less (or paying the consequences), and feeling so utterly selfish, that I make myself sick. Feeling guilty makes it even worse.

Not that I’m trying to shift the blame, but it IS really hard to be selfless in a selfish world. If everyone was selfless, the world would be perfect. But people tend to look out for themselves–numero uno–and take advantage of those who don’t. But the Bible teaches another way, living in a loving, selfless community serving one another, no matter what the circumstances. In fact, God expects this kind of behavior from us–from me.

Every month or so we get calls from the vets or the cancer society to make donations. Because we don’t spend a lot on things like clothes and toys, it’s hard for me to give them up (not that it is to say that it’s easier for those who do, but you know what I mean). But, I’m usually able to round up a few things (which my husband always inspects and seems to be able to give me a reason to keep at least one thing I’ve thrown in–it doesn’t take much) and we are able to give a box or two away every other month or so. But is that enough? Is that what we’ve been called to do? I don’t think so. Can we really make a difference, witness to the world, by giving away a faded shirt or a breadmaker we never use?

I’m asking God for ideas, opportunities where I can bless others more specifically. Not that it’s still a selfless act, since I want to “look to the interest of others” because I know it will make me feel good. But it’s the only way I can take focus off the here and now and the things of this world and start looking toward the there and then and the truth of God. And, therefore, reflecting God by becoming more like Christ. It seems so simple. But it IS easier said than done, at least for me, but all things are possible through Him.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 2:3-5

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