Our Daily Journey with God

it's not all about you

Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others. [Philippians 2:3-5]

Prior to moving to East Africa, I lived in Washington DC, just a few miles away from Walter Reed Hospital. This is the treatment facility for the American soldiers who have been most severely wounded while serving in the Iraq War.

Three friends and I were invited to visit Walter Reed in a semi-regular basis to offer encouragement to the injured men and women. Prior to entering patients' room for the first time, a US Army chaplain briefed us on the extreme and grotesque war injuries we were about to see.

Will I get nauseous? I wondered. Will I faint? Silently I prayed for strength. As I did, I sensed the Holy Spirit's warning that an outward reaction on my part would turn everyone's attention to me instead of the injured soldiers. He instructed me to act in opposition to my self-absorbed and squeamish nature by thinking solely about the men and women we were there to minister to rather than about myself.

By adhering to God's exhortation, I experienced great joy as I interacted with the suffering soldiers and concentrated on their situation and needs.

In recent months, God has reiterated to me the importance of considering the needs of others. "It's not all about you," He reminds me as I study His Word, as I live among the poor in Uganda, and as I correspond with friends and family back home in the US.

It's not easy to live out Titus 3:14, which says, "Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive. That is why author and Bible teacher Beth Moore says we need to be intentional about being "others focused." "We're going to be selfish unless we deliberately do something about it," Moore says. "Satan wants to make us takers instead of givers." - Roxanne Robbins.

Are you a giver, or a taker? How will you begin to think less about yourself and more about others' needs?