“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
-1 John 2: 15-17
We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. Last week we talked about the people that surround us, our friends. Today, let’s talk about the one person that always seems to get in the way. Ourselves. We live in a very self-centered world. It’s all about: What can I do to make ME happy. To make ME succeed. What’s best for ME. What’s easy for ME. How can I obtain more wealth, prestige and power for ME. Notice a pattern here? Me. Me. Me. So if this is what the world tells us, what is God telling us? We can find it in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others!” Not quite the same is it. And not only do I have to work on this continually for myself, but I also have to press it upon my children in a way that shows them how much I love them while explaining that life is not always about them. My middle son, Brayden, gave me a good example of this when he was in Kindergarten. I went to the school to have lunch with him and stayed for recess afterwards. We had a great time playing and then the bell rang, announcing it was time for the kids to get in line to head back to class. Brayden jogged up to the line and right as he found his place in line, a kid ran up and pushed him out of line and said, “Haha, I beat you. I’m first.” Let me tell you, it about got ugly on that brisk April day on the playground. Mama bear stepped forward ready to grab that kid by the collar and let him know how I felt about the situation, but I stopped when Brayden just shrugged and said, “That’s okay. God says that the first will be last and the last will be first!” Bible burn. Not gonna lie. I loved it and my heart swelled with pride…and then I cringed over what my reaction was going to be. What a great reminder as we submerge ourselves into the world to put others before ourselves. I’ll be honest, I struggle in this area. I can be a very selfish person. And the one person I should be the most giving with, the one that I should always put first, I don’t: My better half - my husband. I can do it, but it takes effort and doesn’t always come easy for me. This is an area where I claim...I am not a perfect person, but I serve a perfect God, who’s not done with me yet!!! In your walk with the Lord, how are you being IN the world, but not OF the world? Are there any changes that you need to make? Talk to God about that right now.
Heavenly Father, as I immerse myself into the world, help me to keep my eyes on YOU, so they are not on ME. In 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14, your word says, “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” Through you, help me to be all those things as I put others before me. Amen.