“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”– Romans 12:21
It is so hard to be unselfish. In a time of instant gratification being essentially the norm, it is difficult for us to not care more about our needs than the needs of others.
We get impatient in the grocery line waiting for the older person in front of us to finish writing their check because we have to get home. We ride up on the car in front of us because they’re only going 10 miles over the speed limit and they need to move over because where we are going is way more important.
Let’s go a little deeper. We ignore the neighbor who has a load of groceries because we are too concerned with the show we are watching. We choose to ignore a handshake in church because that person isn’t someone I speak to anymore and they should have to come to me.
Our selfishness ruins us and places limits on our ability to grow in our faith.
Romans 12:1 says: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship”. Paul is urging the church in Rome to recognize the need to be self-sacrificial in view of God’s mercy on them. That is how we truly worship God in our lives.
Being willing to put our own wants and desires aside; in order to seek out the desires of our Father in heaven is what true worship contains.
The mercy of God was given to us through the most unselfish acts ever; His Son being sacrificed on the cross for our lives.
I was told once, “Mercy is not receiving what we deserve and grace is receiving that which we do not deserve”. It is so wonderful to know that our Father in heaven looked down on His creation and said, “I will not do to them what they deserve, but I will give them something they could never deserve on their own”.
We are called to be a living sacrifice in view of God’s mercy on us. However, our willingness to be a sacrifice can only be prompted by our love for God.
If we choose to love ourselves more than God, then our ability to be a sacrifice for Him and for others is now thwarted by selfishness, which God chose to push aside to bring us back to Him.
When we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, we will find ourselves more willing to love our neighbor. We will discover a heart to love our enemy and move beyond petty arguments. We will be more open to peaceful resolutions as opposed to creating strife and discord. Our lives will be filled with love which overflows for all because we do not look to our own interests, but to the interests of others. (Romans 12:9-21)
Being a living sacrifice is hard, but ultimately is worth it since we find evil being overtaken by the good we produce through Christ. Being selfish is more detrimental to our lives, especially since it hinders the gospel of Christ from going forward, at least through us.
May we find ourselves living self-sacrificially in light of God’s mercy on us. May we be people who share the same mercy and grace that we have received.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What would your life look like if you lived unselfishly? Community? Church? Family? Workplace?