<<being unselfish>>

Christ gave His life for us and, following His example, we should forgo our plans and rights that others may be blessed; being more concerned in

Do I readily give up my rights for others?

fulfilling our responsibilities than in having our entitlements met,  We should please and build up ‘our neighbour’ for their good by voluntarily setting aside our interests and desires (Rom 15:2; 1 Cor 10:24; Phil 2:3). One purpose of being in a family – both natural and church – is to use the numerous opportunities to put others first and practice being unselfish. If we try and save our lives we will lose them, but if we utilize them for Christ and His Kingdom, doing what He has assigned for us, we will be abundantly rewarded; it is sacrificing in the short-term for the long-term benefits (Mk 8:35-37, 10:29-31; Act 20:24; Rev 12:11). If we have the resources to meet the needs of others but fail to act, how can the love of God be in us for the blessings He has given us are also for the benefit of others, not just personal indulgence (Lk 12:16-21; Jas 2:15,16; 1 Jn 3:16,17).

Believers are to be selfless, living as Jesus did. He did not come to be ministered to (served by others) but to minister (serve) and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mt 20:28). Am I known as a ‘second mile person’ – going beyond the call of duty and voluntarily giving of myself (Mt 5:41; Rom 6:13)? Do I know the exhilarating feeling of joy after doing a kind action to another knowing that they will be unable to repay me? (Lk 14:12-14).

After becoming a Christian our continued existence on earth is to serve Christ, relinquishing our old ways and becoming like Him. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us and uses our circumstances to shape us for eternity (Rom 8:29).  Being yielded to Christ is a lifelong process and often involves

Self-sacrifice is a key characteristic of                 citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven

the death of our dreams and what we initially believe is our divine calling, yet as Jesus said, unless the original seed dies it cannot be resurrected in a greater dimension of fruitfulness (Jn 12:24). Jesus Himself said, “If anyone wants to be my disciple they must deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23).   Paul said that was his experience – “I die daily...I have been crucified with Christ” (1 Cor 15:31; Gal 2:20, 6:14). What is my testimony?

Throughout history there have been those who have endured self-inflicted punishment and physical deprivation in a mistaken effort to appease God or earn His favour. Such measures do not make a person right with God and are not the self-sacrifice acceptable to God. What God requires is for us to love Him with every part of our being, and our neighbour as ourself (Mk 12:30,31).  This requires we sacrifice our rights and desires in order to fully obey God, besides being willing to set aside our own desires for the good of others (Gal 5:13,14). This was the way Jesus lived (Mt 26:42; Phil 2:5-8). 

See also: cross, disciple/discipleship, others, rights, sacrifice and offering, self-denial, self-discipline, selfishness.


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