Ever wonder how you’re doing in the serving department? If you’ve reached the “selfless” category yet? If you’re a good example to your family … a light to the world?
I certainly have. I’m selfish. I won’t even try to deny that. I’m imperfect, messed up, and all focused on me and my problems oftentimes.
And then, all of sudden, I realize I’m ignoring and neglecting everybody in favor of myself, and I’m like, “Yikes! I need to get this selfless thing together.”
Because, I want to be obedient God. I want to love those around me. And true love is selfless (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
The problem is, selfless sounds like overwhelmed to me. I just think about all things I should be doing/ways I should be acting and I’m already worn out! I want to crawl back into bed and pretend like I don’t have to think about life anymore.
Perhaps we’re missing the real idea of it all. Instead of focusing on “do and don’ts”, lists, and legalism, maybe we need to simply start purposefully practicing “practical holiness” (taking this phrase from one of my favorite Youtubers, Joseph Solomon) out of love and awe for our God.
It doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. We are imperfect human beings. But the good thing is, we are loved by a PERFECT GOD. No, we will never be completely selfless and good on this earth, but our God is in the business of perfecting each of us, if we’re seeking Him and following His perfect path.
8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Abide with Him. Walk with the Spirit. It is God who you look to for strength … you can’t do anything on your own. He can work through your weakness. So seek Him. Strive for godliness while leaning on the Lord.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:11
Pursuing godliness is a process. It takes time. It’s a journey. It’s a work-out. One step at a time, my friends. Start with your family. Start with the little things. Focus on one thing at a time. And just rejoice in the Lord always! That’s extremely helpful in getting your attitude in the right place.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Read a bedtime story to your little siblings. Maybe they need an extra cuddle. Perhaps your mom is busy and would appreciate you cleaning up the little ones and getting them to bed.
- Refrain from stirring up an argument with your teen sister (see Proverbs 15:1). Pouring into her life in a positive way is more important than getting your point across.
- Set down your phone/close your laptop and give all your attention to your younger brother who wants to talk about skateboards and hunting and guns. Try to add something to the conversation, or just congratulate him on his accomplishments and encourage him to pursue his talents.
- Be patient with the little sister who’s constantly having emotional meltdowns. Maybe some of it is caused by some hurt or loneliness she’s feeling.
- Send your friend a text or email letting them know you’re thinking about them. Take time for a long phone call or afternoon coffee with them if they need to talk.
- Your mom is frazzled … so pitch in with some household cleaning besides your usual chores. Make supper. Clean the bathroom.
- Your dad is stressed … smile and say something encouraging/positive.
- Lift up your family and friends in prayer. Faithfully bring their needs/struggles before the Lord.
- Ask the cashier how they’re doing as you get your groceries checked out. Thank your server when you go to a restaurant – tidy up when you’re done with your meal.
Just start cultivating an outward focus in the little things. Remember not to always be thinking just about how you’re feeling, but how those around you might be feeling.
We want to change the world. But remember, it starts with you loving in your home. It starts with God changing your heart. Let Him grow you.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
There is hope for us yet. 🙂 We don’t have to change in a day. Jesus is faithful, and He is our strength. Ask Him to renew your mind and purify your heart. And just know that He loves you ever so much. Share that love with the world! ❤
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.