Putting Others First
October 4, 2011
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How can I put others first and still take care of my business?
You’ve brought up one of the great tensions of Christian living. Jesus set the standard for loving others more than self. When asked what the greatest commandment was, he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:34-40) Later, the apostle, Paul wrote, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
The Golden Rule:
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
Guidelines for Putting Others First
- “Do no harm.” If your help will actually enable another person to hurt himself or herself then it is not help. It is not loving.
- Don’t be a doormat. Loving does not require you to surrender your opinions or ideas to others.
- Invest time in your relationships. There is no quality time apart from quantity time. Spend time with your friends and family.
- Help those in need. You cannot meet every need but you can do something. Volunteer. Donate. Just do something for someone.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. God only made one Mother Teresa. Do your best and try to do better in the future.
- Do your own work. Be good at your job. God gives you the ability to make money in order for you to be able to help others.
- Know your basic tendencies. Do you tend to focus on your business more than on the needs of others? Or, do you lean toward dropping your work to help others? Know which way you usually go.
- When in doubt, go against your grain. Do the opposite of what your basic tendencies lead you to do.
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