Value Others

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 the others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Sounds like a very tall order. You know what they say, “If I don’t look out for me, who will?” And that is a fair enough question, considering today’s societal climate. Everybody’s busily attending to their own affairs and not concerned with anyone else. Most people cannot empathize with others in things that they themselves have not experienced. If it hasn’t happened to them, there is no sympathy, no leeway.

Last night, heavy storms with high winds spawning tornadoes starting on one side of the state passed through our area, heading to the other side of the side of the state. A little boy was found walking on the road by himself, separated from his parents. The comments were such as: Why is no one looking for this child? Take care of your children. And other mean comments such as these. The people making the comments more than likely did not experience any hardships during these devastating storms. Neither do they know what happened to separate the child from his parents, or if his parents are distraught with looking for him, or even if they can look. They do not know because the authorities did not know at the time.

But that is not the way it should be. Paul said that we should basically put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and not make rash judgments like that. He said, humble yourself and value others above yourselves. We are to look out for other people’s interests. Not that we neglect our own interests to our own hurt in favor of others. But for instance, if you go to a place of business and the attendant there gives you more change back than you should have, that is not a blessing from the LORD. It is more like a test from the LORD. I’ve heard people say, “They should be more careful.” Which is true; you need to pay attention. But on the same token, we do make mistakes, and we need to be more forgiving with each other and extend more grace.

Or they will say, “If God didn’t want me to have it, He wouldn’t have given it to me.” God does not take something from someone to their hurt to give to you. You had better check yourself because the measure you judge with will be measured back against you. Think about it this way. If it was you, would you want that person to give you back the extra money they just received? Of course, you would. Some businesses might require them to pay the money back as a policy to limit employee theft. You never know.

So, the next time you are faced with the temptation to judge someone else harshly or to withhold a blessing, consider that person as you would like to be considered yourself. Learn to value others. Make a conscious decision to speak well of others and put them first, not to your own hurt, obviously, put to your own profit in eternity. Father, help me to value others, even in this selfish world of ‘me first.’ LORD, help me to understand that it is for my own eternal profit that I do such things. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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