What About Me?

by Mark Schumacher
How often do I ask myself that question—more often quietly to myself? Well, I should keep track on a given day or each day for a week. While I believe my heart is usually in the right place, catch me in my work setting and next thing I know, a shift has taken place (not that this is the only place, but it seems to happen quicker at work). Work provides a vast array of personalities and situations, people who can’t or just don’t feel like doing their work thoroughly, followed by demands from upstairs I am not ready to hear. Well, those good intentions I carried with me from my morning devotions have taken a big hit. I am in self-preservation mode—more like selfish mode.
Can I give examples when I am elsewhere? You bet I can. But this is to be a short devotional, so I’ll share those another time. Why is it so easy to focus on what is best for me, what I can do for my enjoyment, what my goals are for the day and receiving what I believe I deserve? If I allow my natural tendencies to control any situation, selfishness reigns!
Philippians 2:3-4 reminds me clearly…“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Well, Paul has made that clear!
Key reminders that I see in this passage are: Don’t be selfish Be humble (lowliness of mind) Consider others’ interests more than my own These motives will stem from love (God’s love for me, passing through me to others)
That surely sounds like Jesus—giving up his rights for others while helping those around Him wherever He could. He is the truest, most perfect example of a servant. This verse involves what I can do for those in my workplace. It does not matter if they meet my standards. They are God’s children.
Opportunities are not limited to just my workplace, but also my neighborhood, my church family, my biological family, and the family of God everywhere. The Lord can use me anywhere and anytime to help someone and to share the love of Jesus in some way, if I am open and willing.
Can I start working on my perspective? Can I not allow my surroundings to distract my focus away from what God’s Word convicts me to do? I am for trying harder, loving the unlovable, and asking God to show me where He wants to use me—today and each day I wake up. Are we all up for that challenge?
We are only here on earth for a short time. Why not make the most of it before we meet Jesus at the end of our time on this earth. Just ask Him…where and how would you like me to serve You, Lord, and others, today, this week, this year? He will not leave our side, and I expect we will enjoy being a vessel for His kingdom work. We have to admit—it does feel better to give than receive. Also, maybe once in a while, we can reward ourselves too. We should celebrate those special times when ministry goes well and when we have cleared a hurdle that has stood in our way.
I guess it is getting pretty clear: it is not about me, but it is about how I can share God’s love. Others’ needs ARE more important than mine. I am already very loved and cared for—God has that covered with a big blanket!
Enjoy this Lenten season as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior!
Dear Lord, allow me to be sensitive to the needs of others around me. Let me experience the joy that comes from pleasing you and fulfilling your purposes for my life. I ask this in the name of your son, Jesus, our loving Savior. Amen.

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