Think About Yourself Instead of Others

That title probably got your attention, because on the surface it sounds like the opposite of what we usually think about the teachings of Jesus. However, it is an idea that has been on my mind during Jet’s Wednesday night class about serving. It is easy for us to let our critical thoughts about others change our attitudes about serving them. Jet has been challenging us (most recently from 2 Corinthians 10) to consider how we think about serving. Maybe our thoughts about others actually begin with us.
The book, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, mentions several ways that it is important to think about ourselves rather than others. I want to share two of those with you. Both are built on scriptural principles.
“Don’t focus on what others are doing wrong. Do focus on what you can do right to help.”
Whether it is the teachings of Jesus about specks and beams or Paul’s description of Jesus emptying Himself and becoming a servant, this is how we should interact with those around us. There is enough negativity in the world without us adding to it. It is easy to find reasons to not serve others or why they might be undeserving, but we are called to something higher than that. We have to set aside our cynicism to see others as God’s loved creation.
“Don’t worry whether others are helping you. Do worry whether you are helping others.”
Where the first quote describes wrongdoing, this one deals with lack of action. It is not our responsibility to decide whether someone is acting in the way we think they should. In fact, the problem might even be that we are frustrated that they are not acting in the way that we think we should be acting ourselves. Instead, we should be both servant and example by following the lead of Jesus.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

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