It’s easy to think of ourselves first; to put our interests and concerns over those of the people around us. This is especially true for people we don’t know. It’s easy to view them as “anonymous” and “unimportant,” sort of like wallpaper or background noise. They’re just there, blending in with the scenery. But in God’s view, no one is “anonymous.” Everyone is somebody. Each person is worth knowing and loving—and dying for.
First Things First
In the text above, Paul urges us to have the same mind as Jesus; to look beyond our own interests and positions of influence to the interests and needs of others.
If you really want to test yourself on your ability to love like Jesus, try loving the people that you dislike most. For me, that would be those who are narrow-minded, bigoted, and completely unbending. They make the hair on the back of my neck stand up (what little is left). But yet, they are people who have feelings, hardships, joys, sorrows, and fears. Ultimately, they long for many of the same things I do. I’ve found that the first step in loving anyone is to get to know them—to look past the labels and stereotypes to the flesh and blood qualities they possess.
“Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift up your heads to extend love to others” (Philippians 2:3, The Voice).
This is the kind of love the world is dying for. And to extend it without reserve or bias is what sets Christ’s true followers apart from those who merely “profess” to be so.
“Lord, help me today to put first things first, and to love like you.”
Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.© 2002 - 2024, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.