“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
There has been a lot going on in the world these last couple weeks, as I’m sure there has been in many of your lives. This week we also had the chance to remember the most selfless act in all of human history, and how it changed the world forever. As we celebrate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, I’ve been focusing a lot on the selflessness of His sacrifice. In a world where selfishness has taken triumph, the death on the cross is a piercing reminder of what it means to humble yourself and consider other lives as more important than your own.
One thought I’ve been thinking on a regular basis lately is politely put, “Why are people so selfish?” When push comes to shove, everyone tends to look after themselves. It’s all about me, my interests, my life, my struggles, and my joys. This is definitely myself included. People are selfish. I am selfish. But then I picture the cross, and see Jesus as He was breathing some of His very last breaths saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
As mankind was doing one of the most selfish things we could do by nailing Jesus to a cross, Jesus was doing the exact opposite of selfish. He was speaking and acting with our best interests in mind—He was selfless. He was praying for our forgiveness, as He was the one being wronged. Jesus’ death on the cross was the most selfless event in history. He was righteous and innocent, but yet killed in one of the most horrific and gruesome ways possible—all so selfish people could have the chance to live. Jesus was completely and utterly selfless.
It isn’t natural for people to be selfless. It isn’t always fun, glorious, praised, or noticed. But it’s what Christ did as a human, and it’s what our world needs more of. You don’t have to run around handing one hundred dollar bills left and right to every person you see, you don’t have to uproot your entire life. It could be as simple as looking for ways in which you can be selfless in your own circle.
Offer to give someone homework help. While you’re driving, let that person who is trying to change lanes in traffic pull into your lane right in front of you. Wait for other people to grab their food first. Don’t choose the best seat in the house. Let others go first, and put yourself last. Be willing to give. Be willing to share your time. Be willing to sacrifice. Whatever it may be, find a way to be selfless today.