THINKING OF OTHERS

from Patten’s Pick Me Ups!

 

Christians often put being saved and going to heaven in the same sentence, as if heaven were the only goal of our salvation. But the truth is, we are saved to serve. Heaven is important, but heaven can wait. God saves us because he has a job for us to do in his Kingdom here on earth. If heaven is the whole point of our salvation, then what do we do while we wait? Change the channel on our Christian entertainment?

It’s amazing how many of our own problems dissipate when we begin caring about others problems instead of focusing on our own. We’ve picked up some very bad habits from our culture. We have a tendency to be preoccupied with our own needs and constantly trying to fulfill them. Advertising plays into this self-indulgence, promising that one more product will be the thing that will finally satisfy us. The truth of the matter is: Getting will never come close to the satisfaction that giving affords.

Think of someone you know who is truly happy and I venture to guess you will find that someone busy serving others. If, in fact, our troubles will never go away (and I don’t believe they ever will in this life), then to focus on them and try to solve them is going to be nothing but a broken record. Make one problem go away, and watch another one crop up immediately. To give ourselves to the task of attending to the problems of those around us may not make our own problems go away, but it will make them less of a drag. Focusing on our own problems can lead to anxiety, frustration, and even depression. Focusing on other people’s problems leads to usefulness and a greater sense of health.

So today, when we are tempted to look in, to our own needs, let’s look out, instead, to the needs of those around us and see if our own needs diminish by comparison. Who knows, we may even forget about ourselves in the process.

Jesus hung on a cross and thought of those who were putting him there, and even pleaded their case before his Father, because he knew they didn’t realize the full impact of what they were doing. Can you imagine having even a fleeting thought about someone else if you were in that much pain yourself? But that’s just the thing about Jesus: He was always thinking of someone else.

 

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