THE SWEETNESS OF SELFLESSNESS
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” - Philippians 2:3-4 ESV
One of the first things we try to teach a child is to share their possessions. It’s startling to see that even at a young age, the nature of self-serving attitudes are so strong. Why is this? It’s called sin, but often it disguises itself as lack. Where selfish ambition is at play, behind it shouts the voice that “you will miss out,” or “you will not have or be enough.” But this is the deception that Satan delivers, essentially robbing us from the truth that he who waters others will himself be watered (Proverbs 11:25). At a deeper level, it is an accusation against the image of God that we are created in, through the sufficiency of Christ – lacking nothing.
Jonathan Edwards’ life and preaching also knew this secret. He was pivotal in what we know as the Great Awakening of America in the 1740’s. But not all loved him – even his own church forced him out. One of the defining revelations Edwards stirred up was that the will of an individual must be radically transformed from its natural self-love to the love of God. This love was to show a heartfelt evidence of regeneration. Today we still battle the pursuit of a hedonistic society and our own temptations to live this way.
It is true that selfish ambition will always stand in the way of an awakening of humanity back to God; however, we should expect that our selflessness and the worship of God will usher in His great moving and regeneration of society!
A challenging question to ask yourself is how much of your life, your time, your resource is “self” orientated and how much is “others” orientated. If the former outweighs the latter, allow Holy Spirit to renew your ways and experience the joy that awaits you.
These words of Paul exemplify the life of Christ who was totally surrendered to putting others before him, even you! He asks us to put them into practice today.