A wise man named Paul encouraged his readers to live daily in humility of thought, to consider others better than themselves, and to not only be concerned with one’s own interests but to take care of the interest of others as well.* When I read his instructions, it made me wonder what our current world would look like if we all decided to take this piece of advice and try living that way. What would happen if we gave preference to others in word and actions? Couldn’t this be as simple as stopping and thinking before we speak to make sure our words are encouraging and positive, rather than being used to tear someone down? How about going one step further and buying the homeless person on the side of the road a sandwich when we purchase our own lunch or our $5 specialty coffee. Is this not looking out for other’s interest while we take care of ourselves?
Perhaps some would consider this idea naïve or question how it is even possible to go through an entire day showing concern for others when we have our own problems to worry about. That’s what I like about this challenge by Paul- he recognizes that we need to take care of ourselves, however he doesn’t stop there. Paul learned that to truly live full, complete, and satisfied lives we must go further than ourselves. It’s amazing what happens when we take our eyes off of our own difficult situation and reach out to help someone else in need. Somehow, our problems don’t seem as dire as we first thought they were.
Go ahead, give it a try!
Ask yourself, do I know someone that:
Needs a word of encouragement today? Take a minute and send them an email or text.
Could use a listening ear? Give them a call or meet for coffee.
Needs a meal or blanket in this cold weather? Are you willing to take an extra 10 minutes in your errands to bring them one?
Is moving and could really use a helping hand to pack or unpack? Will you give up an hour or two of your time to help lighten their load?
Is struggling to meet financial obligations? Could you part with the extra spending money that you would use shopping or eating out this weekend?