Look to the Needs of Others
“Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:4 The Message).
The starting point for all happiness is the moment you shift the focus away from yourself. If all you think about is yourself, you’re going to be a pretty miserable person. If you truly want to be happy in life, you have to care about the needs of those around you.
Paul cites Timothy as an example of this in Philippians 2:20-21: “There is no one like Timothy for having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plans and not those of Jesus Christ” (TLB).
Most people don’t get up in the morning and spend energy thinking about how others are doing. Most people are only concerned with their own problems. And that’s why most people are unhappy with their lives!
If you want to be one of those rare, unselfish people, change your focus. You have to shift your focus away from yourself and toward other people. It’s not something that comes naturally; you have to learn to do it.
On many occasions, I’ve missed the needs of people around me that I love because I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t taking an interest in them. I hadn’t shifted the focus from me toward the others in the room. Because I wasn’t looking out for their needs, I missed chances to help. And that grieves me a lot.
Instead of grieving missed opportunities, be intentional about looking away from yourself and toward the needs of others, where you’ll find happiness in serving God through serving others.
Talk It Over
What distractions keep you from focusing on the needs of others?
How have you benefited from another person’s interest in helping you with your needs?
What needs have you missed in someone’s life because you were too busy or focused on your own problems? What can you do today to shift your focus toward helping that person?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.