Love That Is Greater Than Self - The One Year Salt and Light Devotional

Love That Is Greater than Self

Philippians 2:3-4

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

THE HOSTILITY WAS PALPABLE, the contentiousness at boiling point, the atmosphere tense. Factions in the church had recently polarized, each holding their own positions as divine and any others as an attack from the forces of evil. Sadly, differences of opinion in the body of Christ often take on such extremes. But at one prayer meeting, when most participants were far more focused on conflict than on prayer, one woman stood up in tears and confessed her judgments against the others. A suddenly softened heart from another faction joined in, and soon the confessions flowed and hugs were exchanged. Opinions had not changed, but the environment had. And people began working together toward a solution.

That story is a composite of many such experiences witnessed by believers around the world. It happens again and again. Unfortunately, sometimes conflict reaches its final result of splitting a fellowship forever. But the dynamic of a divisive atmosphere being broken by one humble confession or contrite heart is common and powerful—not only in churches but in organizations, institutions, or informal groups of people. When the church at Philippi was in the midst of conflict, Paul urged selflessness. Why? Because it embodies God’s love. It breaks the power of pride. It pulls down walls and opens hearts to the shalom of God’s Kingdom.

You don’t need to preach to change the world around you. The power of God’s presence within you can alter your environment and open people’s eyes to God’s ways. Attitudes are contagious, and if yours is strong, it will spread—even before you have said a word. An attitude of selflessness is powerful because it follows the model of Jesus. If you live selflessly, lives will change. You will need to be persistent, but you can be because you know whose you are. As an agent of the Spirit of God, carry his selflessness into selfish places and watch closed hearts unfold.

{Jesus, your selflessness changed the world forever. You call me into the world with the same attitude—serving, giving, yielding to the interests of others whenever it serves the greater good. May my attitude melt the hearts around me and open them to your love. Amen.

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