Characteristics of Christ | PUTTING OTHER FIRST
A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 12: Putting Others First (Mark 10:45)
Jesus put others first, focusing on their needs above his own, without becoming a doormat for people to walk all over. We never read of someone taking advantage of Jesus. He never serves out of guilt or compulsion. He never asks for anything in return. He doesn't get irritate when people don't say Thank You.
I want to be thanked when I do something nice for someone. I love being needed and feeling useful. I'll serve because I'm a people-pleaser at the core. I want others to like me, and I get validation from service.
Jesus wasn't that way at all. He wasn't a people-pleaser, he was a God-pleaser. His primary concern was giving the glory to God rather than seeking human approval. His service to others was the natural overflow of his devotion to doing the Father's will.
He taught us to pray, "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." If we're all about that as our primary lens for seeing the world, then we'll seek to bring about God's will wherever we are.
And what is God's will? What is the greatest command? To love God with your entire being, and to love our neighbor as yourself. That's why service is such a high value in the kingdom. That's why we aren't supposed to "lord it over" other people when we are in positions of authority. Loving my neighbor as myself makes them my equal. No one is beneath me. Everyone is worthy of honor and respect.
If I'm confident enough in my status as a child of God, and if I view others as my equal and treat them as such, then I shouldn't need appreciation or validation from others. I shouldn't have to be concerned about pleasing people when I know what I'm doing is pleasing to God.
So go ahead and let someone in front of you in traffic or standing in line at the restaurant. Clean up someone else's mess around the house. Do something nice without recognition or payback. Because whatever you do, you're doing it for the Lord.