Focal Passage: Luke 6:27-38, 41-42, 46-48
It is natural for a person to focus on “me.” We never have to teach children to hoard – we teach them to share. A grandmother shared about taking her three grandchildren to the Dollar Store to buy Christmas gifts for each other and their mom and dad. They were so excited. When they got into the store, the one young child looked up and said, “What am I buying for me?”
We have all watched as a small child tries to claim all the toys in a room as “mine.” The movie “Finding Nemo” has ruined my beach trips – all I can hear the seagulls saying is “Mine, mine, mine.”
Jesus patterned and taught that we are to live contrary to our nature – we are to be unselfish. Children learn the acrostic JOY – Jesus first, others second, and yourself last.
In fact, Jesus gave the second greatest commandment to love others like we love ourselves. God knows our bent to “me first,” so He challenges us to treat others in this same way.
One time I was at a building getting ready to go inside with a co-worker. As was my custom, I stopped and held the door for him. He turned and said to me, “Why in the world do you always do that?”
Then, he said something I have never forgotten. He sarcastically said, “What would the world be like if everybody did that?” I have often thought along these lines – “What would the world be like if we all put others first?” I believe it would be a pretty nice place.
Remember the old adage “What goes around, comes around?” Being concerned with others often opens the door for others to show concern for us. Also, this works in the negative.
If a person is negative and critical with everyone they meet, it shouldn’t surprise them that negativity and criticism is constantly shown to them. We all know people who, because of their personality, are very lonely and sad. If they had taken Jesus’ teaching and the truth from Proverbs – they could have friends by being friendly.