Value Others Above Yourself    2/13/2018

Phil. 2:3-4    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather by humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

“Wifum?” he asked with a serious face.

“Huh? What does that mean?” I inquired.

“You asked me to help you. So, WIIFM? What’s In It For Me?”

“Are you kidding me?” I responded. “Absolutely nothing. I need help, and I am asking you as a friend.  Either you will help me or you won’t. Isn’t that what friends are for?”

When I was a single mom raising my son, I sometimes needed to enlist the help of others, especially when I encountered such unexpected complications as household repairs or auto repairs.  Usually I received the help I needed with no problems.  Occasionally, however, in response to an inquiry for help, I heard statements such as the one above that filled my head with question marks and my heart with sadness.

I say such replies filled my heart with sadness because I seem to be naturally generous in character.  Mom once teased me as an adult about how, when I was a child, I was always bringing home stray kids.  You know, kids whose parents weren’t home waiting for them, or worse, they went home to bad circumstances.  I always shared my lunch and even gave my jacket away to a girl in my class who was cold. I suppose I come by this trait of helping others quite naturally.

I live to serve. I love to give. When someone needs help I am there doing whatever I can.  I cannot imagine feeling any other way!  My heart goes out to the less fortunate. My heart goes out to those in need.  I never consider the fact that there might be something in it for me.  In hindsight, there is always something in it for me; helping others fills my heart with joy.  I may naturally enjoy helping others, but I am also human, meaning occasionally I am tempted by a spirit of laziness or selfishness.  However, as I mature in my faith, I realize we are called to help others.

Christ lived a life of service and humility and He taught us, His followers, to do the same.  We are not placed on this earth to be served.  Rather, we are called to serve others.  Each of us possesses certain gifts that enable us to serve in different ways.  I don’t drive, so I can’t take you to an appointment, but I can cook and bake. I gladly do so when it will benefit someone else.  Have you ever taken an inventory of your own talents to see how they may help someone else?

Sadly, we often fill our days with so much busyness that, when called upon to help, we say we do not have the time.  Make the time instead of making excuses!  You don’t really need to watch an entire series on Netflix in one sitting, especially if your elderly neighbor needs help clearing away the heavy branches that fell during that recent storm.  You really can sacrifice, or at least postpone, that weekly manicure when your co-worker’s car breaks down and she needs a ride.

We call ourselves CHRISTians.  Shouldn’t our actions reflect the life Christ led?  The next time you are asked to serve, lead with love and humility.  What’s in it for you?  Well, if you are truly a Christian, you already know the answer!  If you are still unsure, consider these intangible benefits: peace, joy, fellowship, increased faith, and strengthening of your gifts.  Let’s put our excuses aside and serve others as imitators of Christ!

 ~Heather Katernik

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