(Acts 20:35) . . . ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I would like to propose to you a new way of living and how to wake up in the morning. It has the potential of changing your life and to make your existence more meaningful and enjoyable. It will put a smile on your face and won’t wear out, even when you crawl into the sheets at night. You’ll have to give up something in exchange for it, though. But once you do, you won’t want to go back. It’s all summed up in one word . . . YOU!
The Bible says in the last days people will be lovers of themselves. (2 Tim 3:2) That reflects the core of problem in the world today . . . selfishness. Me first . . . it’s all about me . . . what’s in it for me . . . and the like. The problem with selfishness is it causes friction in relationships. When you put yourself first, it rubs people the wrong way. People don’t like it when they are not honored and respected and when people cut in on them and fail to consider their feelings. Selfishness also causes personal unhappiness. A person has gotten their way, but at other’s expense. They are king of the hill, but they had to knock everyone else off on their way up. Now they’re on top of the world but there’s no one to share life with.
Isn’t there a better way to live? Yes there is, and it’s when you finally realize it’s not about you, but it’s about God and others. It’s when you wake up and pray the prayer “Not as I will, but as You will” (Mat 26:39). That you realize “For to me, to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). That the greatest commandment is to love God with all your being (Mat 22:36-37). Then when you have that figured out, you switch over to the next most important thing in life . . . people! That God loves people and He wants to touch their lives and that He wants to use you to do it. It’s the second greatest commandment . . . after loving God is to love your neighbor as yourself (Mat 22:39).
Did you know that the verse which says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” is not found in the four gospels? It’s like it was meant to stand out boldly as Luke, the writer of Acts, showcased it from the lips of the apostle Paul. It’s meant for you and me to know that the best way to happiness is when our eyes are off of ourselves and our problems and on the Lord and serving others. Someone put it this way:
JOY is spelled J.O.Y.: Jesus first – Others second – Yourself last. Don’t you love it? So true!
Okay, so let’s practice. Tomorrow morning you wake up, and instead of thinking about yourself and your agenda, you will say one word out loud . . . YOU! Then get up and work toward that word all day long. Like John the Baptist said . . . (John 3:30) He must increase, but I must decrease. Hopefully we will see each other out there serving others with J.O.Y.!!