Do not seek your own good, but what’s best for others
We live in a narcissistic, self-centered world. We put ourselves first and care only about what’s in our best interest. Too many people live their life with the attitude that “it’s all about me.” In doing so, they miss so much.
Let me share a secret: It’s not all about us. It should be about everyone else. When we put others before us, we help them and enrich ourselves in the process.
Paul reminds the church in Corinth about this. He tells them directly, “No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24, NIV).
While this can go to extremes, most people have no worry about that.
On an airplane, for example, the instructions say that if the oxygen masks drop to put yours on first, then help your neighbor. If you don’t, you might pass out before you can help others in need. Then everyone suffers. I also read of a family so intent on feeding their starving neighbors that some of them starved themselves to death in the process.
No, self-preservation is crucial, but beyond that, put others first. The Bible says to. What’s this look like? It’s up for each of us to decide.
- It could be as simple as standing aside to let someone get in line ahead of us.
- It might be giving someone a ride even though it will make us late. (What if we’re on our way to church?)
- How about giving up a seat on the bus and standing?
- Perhaps this means mowing our neighbor’s lawn even though ours needs attention.
- Should we take the last piece of pizza or let someone else have it?
- What about walking so someone else can use our car?
- Even more bold, how about giving someone our car because he or she needs it more.
We can do many things to seek the good of others, so many that it might overwhelm. But instead of letting the magnitude of options paralyze us into inaction, pick one thing to do for others and then do it.
Doing good for others is the right thing to do.