As I continue in my series on dying to self, I have to address what it means to love others.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Phil 2:3-4
Loving others the way Jesus calls us to requires that we die to ourselves. But love sometimes needs a bit of clarification. As I’ve said before, it isn’t giving in when someone tries to control or manipulate you. It is, however, looking at a true need of another and asking the Lord if He is calling you to meet that need.
I know some feel that we have to meet the needs of others whether we feel God calling us to or not. And I can understand that. But we need to remember that our time, our money, our resources and our lives belong to God and we need to take everything to Him for guidance and approval. If we jump in heedlessly to meet a need, it could very well be possible that we are thwarting someone else from receiving the blessing of meeting that need.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Dying to self in loving others means that I be WILLING to step in & meet a need. Not that I DO step in to meet it.” quote=”Dying to self regarding loving other people means that I must always be WILLING to step in and meet any need. Not necessarily that I DO step in to meet every need.”]
Loving others like God loves us.
Some questions we should ask ourselves:
- Are we quick to observe the needs of others?
- Do we spontaneously pray for others’ needs?
- Are we willing to be inconvenienced for the benefit of another?
- Is our heart filled with judgment or compassion for the hard situations of others?
- Are we quick to ask, “Are you calling me, Lord?”
- Do we ask God how He wants us to help?
Jesus is our #1 example on loving others and being willing to die to self to live out that love. I don’t think God is asking us to give up our lives (at least not most of us), but I’m sure we have times almost daily where He asks us to give up our comfort, our leisure, our abundance, our wants in order to bless and minister to the needs of another.
We see it with our children, with our husbands, with neighbors, with church family, with extended family. Sometimes it is with those we love dearly, sometimes it is with the unlovable.
How do we respond when God says, “take up your cross here and serve this one”?
The answer to this question will tell us a great deal about our heart when it comes to dying to self and loving others. Is it easier to follow through when we get accolades and praise? Is it easier to duck out if no one would notice one way or the other?
Remember: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” Prov 15:3
Don’t miss the other posts in this series:
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