Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:4-5 ESV)
We live in such a conflicting world when it comes to the way we think versus how we are told to think. Yet, for those of us who profess to be Christians, by the very confession of that identity, we are saying we believe we are dead to ourselves and alive to Christ. That we have put Him on and thrown off our old, dead selves and needs. Which is true, but wow, do we ever struggle to live that way!
Speaking for myself, I can’t believe how many times I catch myself saying things that refer to my own desires, thoughts or wishes. Wait. Did I just way I was speaking for myself? Is that okay? Isn’t that . . . selfish?
So confusing sometimes as we live in a self-centered society with a culture that molds us to be looking out for number one – totally opposite to what Christ has called us to. I often hear from women who struggle with keeping a healthy balance in this regard. We can take it to the extreme and become so self-sacrificing in order to serve to our families it’s to our detriment.
God designed us with a built-in mentality to strive for basic survival needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. He knew that we aren’t designed to completely shut down the very instincts that He gave us and so He said that our minds are to be focused ‘not only’ on our interests but ‘also to the interests of others’.
Ladies, this is important for us to get.
It is not a sin to take care of ourselves . . . in fact . . . we have to! Much like the safety announcement that they give on airplanes, we need to secure our own oxygen masks before we reach out to assist others. That is, after all, how He designed us to think!
Father, we thank You that You have given us clear instructions on how to care for our loved ones and ourselves. Help us to grasp the importance of time alone with You each day, to take in Your life-giving Word and breath. May we let go of the guilt and clearly understand the balance of servant hood that starts with conferring with our Master before we run off to serve others. In Jesus’ name, Amen!