Abandon Self with Reckless Self-Abandon

Other People
Photo by Mike PD.

I’m selfish. There’s my confession. And just when I think I’m starting to get over it, I’m reminded that I still tend to view the world as it relates to me. But Paul encouraged us to…

Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

– Philippians 2:3-4 MSG

It’s that last phrase that really catches my attention. “Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” I agree with C. S. Lewis, who said, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.” I’ve come to the conclusion that I live in one of two mindsets:

  • I think of myself and fail to help others.
  • I think of others, which helps me more than I realize.

When I say I’m selfish, it isn’t that I have to have my way or everything I want. Rather it’s that I sometimes fail to empathize with the pain of others because my mind is on my own needs instead. But we don’t have to look far to find hurting people. There’s a whole world full of billions of them. They work in the cubicle next to yours and live in the house across the street. They even sit on your pew on Sunday.

What if you spent one day thinking of others first at every possible opportunity? What if you spent that day peering into the lives of the broken, oppressed, and enslaved? And what if you put yourself in their shoes instead of your own?

How would your life change if it truly revolved around God and His purpose for you, rather than yourself?

I’m just thinking out loud… about myself… {Stop it, Brandon!}

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About the Author

I'm Brandon. I'm the Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church in Northwest Arkansas, which my wife, Angie, and I planted in January of 2012. I previously served as a Pastor at Saddleback Church and still manage Pastor Rick Warren's online, global ministry to pastors, Pastors.com. I also lead a blog about blogging, a blog about social media, and a blog about men's issues. And I've written a book - Rewired, which challenges the church to adopt social media to spread the good news about Jesus. I sometimes take on church website design projects and I coach pastors and leaders as well. I'd love to hear from you!
3 Responses
  1. Great post man. On Myers-Briggs I am an INFP and so I gravitate naturally towards doing things that only involves myself. I have had to uncomfortably lean in to people because it is essentially not about me. I think selfishness is easier for some than others. IT is with me. Great reminder.

  2. Brandon, the scary part is not that you’re talking to yourself, but you’re answering yourself. haha

    That C.S. Lewis quote is one that has transformed the way I think about humility. Too many Christians exemplify an over-wrought form of humility. They operate out of some sense of deficit. Rather, I see Christ, who is fully capable, being our example. He was never any less for stooping low. But He brought all of who He was to the lowest of the low, including me.

    Thanks for reminding me to think of myself less and of Him, and others, more.

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