Putting Others First

Romans 15:2-3
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Jesus is our great example, and He didn’t go around just doing whatever He wanted to do.  He wasn’t too worried about His own comfort, having a lot for Himself, or ruling over other people.  He was much more concerned with others and how they were doing, making sure their needs were met, and giving Himself in service to those around Him.  He did things for the benefit of others.  He even bore all of our reproach, taking upon Himself our deserved punishment.  He truly lived a selfless life.

So, too, we should be concerned about others and do things for their good, not focusing only on what we want.  But are we really willing to live this way?  Do we truly care about the good of others more than our own?  Are we willing to help build someone else up at our own expense?  Are we willing to do good for nothing good in return?  Or do our own wants and desires take precedence over everyone else?

It’s good to remind ourselves from time to time about all that Jesus did for us—how He gave His life in our place, how He endured suffering for our sakes, how He left behind all His glory to come here for our benefit—because doing that gives us a different perspective on our own lives.  And when we look at our lives from that broader, more eternal viewpoint, the kinds of things we are concerned about change a little bit.  And that changed perspective shows us the value and benefit of helping others because we’ve been given such a great gift by Christ Himself.  It shows us there are more important things than our own comfort or our circumstances or what we get or what we can have.

Let’s seek to live our lives with the same outward focus that Jesus had.  If we can spend just a little more of our time and effort benefiting others, we can make a big impact for the Lord.  If we’re willing to turn aside from ourselves and see who around us we can reach out to, who knows how many lives we can touch?  And if we desire to please Christ with our lives, let us go about them like He did as we grow in Him alongside each other.