Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the LORD. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. –Hebrews 12:14
If you’ve ever witnessed a group of toddlers at play, then you have experienced the “Toddler’s Rules of Toys.” If this isn’t familiar to you, allow me to explain. In a toddler’s world, it goes something like this:
If I have a toy, it’s mine.
If you have a toy I want, it’s mine.
If I have a toy and put it down and you pick it up, it’s mine.
If you have a toy I want and you put it down, it’s mine.
If you head toward a toy I might want to play with, it’s mine.
In fact, it’s all mine!
While there are many amusing versions of this poem, it is doused in truth. And, while it might be a bit humorous to watch in a toddler, it’s absolutely appalling to see in adults. In the book of Hebrews, the author exhorts the reader to make every effort to live in peace with everyone. But, in order to follow that instruction, all ideas regarding “me” and “mine” must be put aside, because the truth is, living at peace with all people requires a tremendous amount of energy, humility and maturity. And, if you think this was an isolated event, consider Paul’s words to the church in Philippi, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
As Christ’s followers, we should find that serving others is becoming more and more second nature. Look today for ways to follow Christ’s example.
Selfishness just comes naturally. Sometimes, it comes so naturally that we cannot recognize it in ourselves. If you really want to change, consider asking someone close to you to help you identify one specific way to become a better servant today.
Psalm 119:36; Colossians 3:3