The J.O.Y. of Selflessness
by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
More than 2,000 years ago in the garden of Gethsemane in Israel, a Man in agony prayed earnestly, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. He said, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine”. Jesus made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant and selflessly humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death for the sake of the people He came to save. Indeed, the embodiment of selflessness humanity should emulate for a better world.
A human being due to his fallen nature is egocentric - self-centered and thinking only of himself to the extent of degrading and taking advantage of others and disregarding their feelings and worth. The challenge for us today is to level up our way of living from the human nature of selfishness to the new nature of selflessness or “the quality of caring more about what other people need and want than about what you yourself need and want.”
Billy Graham said, “Only God can give us a selfless love for others, as the Holy Spirit changes us from within. This is one reason we must receive Christ, for apart from His Spirit we can never be freed from the chains of selfishness, jealousy, and indifference. Will others see Christ's love in your life today?" Selflessness is experiencing God’s love and goodness and selflessly extending it to others or paying it forward. Selflessness is putting others’ well-being or benefits first than ours. In a deeper sense, however, selflessness is putting God first. Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.” Consequently, the J.O.Y. of selflessness is Jesus, Others, You.
In implication, to be selfless, in practical ways, is to be patient, kind, and not envy others or boast to them. A selfless person does not dishonor people, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered and he keeps no record of wrong. Furthermore, to be selfless is to let God work in us and through us for His name’s sake and glory. Such virtues and acts of selflessness seem tough to live with yet by the help of God we can practice them before our family, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Finally, as we choose to live in selflessness the joy of the Lord is our strength, and God’s favor is our portion.
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