Monday, October 12, 2015

Selfless Service

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation…”

(Philippians 2:14-15 ESV)

            Paul talks to us in this chapter about possessing the mind of Christ.  He calls us to look not only to our own interests, but to those of others.  He calls us to count others as more significant than ourselves.  And he uses Jesus and his sacrifice, he uses the fact that Jesus laid down his life for our benefit, as our example.

            Because we’re selfish, because we tend to look primarily to our own interests, it’s hard for us to do this.  It’s hard for us to lay aside our interests for those of others.  It’s hard for us to humble ourselves and to count others as more important than ourselves.

            The above verses make this even more challenging.  They’re more challenging because they address not only our actions, but our attitude.  We’re called to do all things without grumbling or questioning.

If you’re like me, you find this to be very convicting.  It’s convicting because, even when we know the right thing to do, we tend to grumble and complain.  Even if we do the right thing, it’s often done with moans and objections under our breath.

How often does our spouse ask for help and, even though we respond to their request, we grumble and complain as we do so.  How often does a friend ask for help and yet, even though we don’t deny their request, we look for any and every excuse to say no.  We question whether we’re truly obligated to serve them.

This attitude is a reflection of our heart.  It reveals our sinful and selfish tendencies.  It reveals the lack of love and humility found within us.  And it leaves us guilty, it makes us liable, before God.

Even though this may seem minor in our eyes, it’s a sin that we must confess.  We must ask God to change the attitude of our heart that it might better reflect that of Christ.  And, with his help, we must resist this desire to complain when we’re presented with opportunities to serve.

And not only are we called to display an attitude that’s contrary to our natural tendencies.  We’re called to display an attitude that’s in stark contrast to that of the world around us.   We’re called to shine as lights in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.

The world around us exhibits the same traits that we find within.  It promotes a self-serving attitude and a glorification of the self.  It displays a perverse and a warped approach to life.

Because we’re reflecting the mind of Christ, our selflessness will then shine forth as a testimony to the world around us.  It will be clear to the world that there’s something different about us.  It will point them to Christ who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.  And it may very well give us the opportunity to share the hope that we have within.

May we, then, live as the children of God we were created to be.  May we display a love that leaves us blameless.  And may we seek Christ for the strength we need to do just that. 

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