“Follow my example. I try to please everyone in every way. I’m not looking out for what is good for me. I’m looking out for the interests of others. I do it so that they might be saved.” (I Corinthians 10: 33, New International Readers Version)
We may not feel this example is possible or even reasonable. Paul was following the model of Jesus’ life as he went about his own work of healing and teaching and being a spiritual leader. He was selfless in giving because he knew this to be the right way, the one which expressed the most goodness, the most Love.
Paul, like Jesus, was proving God in action. He knew that to be gracious and generous, aware of others’ needs, was to be free of the personal sense that gets in the way of fulfilling God’s plan. I don’t think Paul was choosing to be a martyr—an act that in itself might call attention to himself. He was thinking of others and knowing that what served a higher cause of good, compassion, giving, was pleasing to him as well.
Because as we look out for others, we really are being more true to our genuine selves. We are living the Love that is saving and healing. Our expression of God’s qualities, and a reliance on His provision for one and for all, aligns us with our true purpose and the blessings that naturally result.
Take a pause and think about whether your thoughts and actions are taking others into consideration. As you do, you can begin to give in a way that is helpful and impactful. And seeing another comforted, uplifted, encouraged, sustained, healed, grateful, is truly its own reward.
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