The word “selfie” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. But long before we were able to turn the camera on ourselves to take a pic and share it with the world, humans have wrestled with the tendency to focus on our own needs and interests at the expense of others. Despite our best intentions, we can all be self-centered at times. When the attention is on us, it is turned away from God.
This month, be intentional about examining your thoughts and actions — large or small — for when you might be putting yourself before others and dimming the light your witness shines on God. When you catch it happening, consider how that moment could’ve gone differently. How would it have looked if you had truly been selfless?
Below are some examples of what common encounters could look like when approached with a selfless heart:
Behind the wheel
In a city often known for aggressive drivers, go ahead and let the other car into your lane. You’ll still get to your destination!
At the office
When a co-worker needs to use the copier at the same time you do, step aside and volunteer to finish your task later.
Shopping for groceries
If your cart is overflowing and the shopper behind you has a handful of items, offer to let them check-out before you.
Memorize related Bible verses
Much of the Bible focuses on putting others before ourselves — especially in the New Testament.
- "“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.." — John 15:12-14
- "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves." — Philippians 2:3
- "Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." — Philippians 2:4
- "See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all." — 1 Thessalonians 5:15
What ideas do YOU have?
We want to hear your suggestions for how to develop or demonstrate a selfless perspective. Share your ideas with us using the short form below.
YOUR INNERCHANGE IDEAS
Children & Students
Here are some reminders as you guide children and students toward developing a selfless perspective:
- Praise any small act of selflessness you see in them as they play with others
- Tell stories about when God gave you an opportunity to help someone in need
- Encourage them to find a place to serve where they can give of their time to help others
In "Lifesong" by Casting Crowns, the singer cries out to the Lord asking for "the words I say and the things I do" to "bring a smile" to Him. May our lives — our lifesong — be characterized by selflessness and may it be found pleasing to the Lord as we live to serve others and glorify Him.