The World Does Not Revolve around You
“Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own” (Philippians 2:4 GNT).
There’s an old proverb that says, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.” The Bible talks about this as well: “Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own” (Philippians 2:4 GNT).
That is such a countercultural verse. Everything in our society conditions us to think of ourselves first. We don’t think about other people naturally. That’s something we have to learn to do. We naturally think about our needs, our desires, our goals, and our ambitions. As a result we have millions of people disconnected because they’re only thinking of themselves and not anyone else’s needs.
During a nearly two-hour period when I was recently watching TV, I saw three commercials with the same tagline: “You deserve it.” “Buy this shampoo! You deserve it.” “Buy this expensive car, because you deserve it!” We are taught that we are the supreme value in life.
Let me share two very basic truths about life. First, the world does not revolve around you. You’re incredibly special in God’s eyes, and you were created for a purpose—but the world does not revolve around you. If you want to know how much you’d be missed, stick your hand in a bucket of water and pull it out, and see what kind of hole you leave. It fills back up pretty quickly!
The second truth is this: God has promised that when you focus on meeting the needs of other people, he will meet your needs. Why? Because he wants you to learn to be unselfish. He wants you to learn to be loving and generous like he is. When we’re considerate of other people’s needs, we don’t expect them to be perfect. “Make allowance for each other’s faults” (Colossians 3:13 NLT). You’re not perfect, so why should you demand it of anybody else?
Proverbs 17:9 says, “Love forgets mistakes” (TLB). When you are trying to make a connection with someone, you don’t have to remain blind to that person’s faults. You just choose to overlook them. Great friends are good forgetters. They are more concerned with the other person’s needs.
Talk It Over
What distractions keep you focused on yourself and not others?
Why is becoming more like Jesus such an important part of our spiritual journey?
What is the difference between overlooking someone’s faults and holding someone accountable?
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This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.