We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
Not Having It Your Way
“Have it your way.” For over 40 years, Burger King encouraged us to order food the way we want it. It was perhaps a catchy slogan, but Burger King was by no means the only voice in our culture telling us to make ourselves happy. Our society is all about instant, self-gratification. On a daily basis, we are bombarded with messages, commercials, and slogans, all encouraging us to take care of ourselves first and to make ourselves happy.
Sadly, our quest to please ourselves often involves hurting or neglecting others. When we are in the me-first mode, we are generally oblivious to the needs, concerns, and feelings of others. We jump in line first and make others wait. We fail to help those who need it. We vent about our problems but give little attention to the problems of others. Having it our way often means we fail to show Christian love and service to the people God has placed in our lives specifically so we can serve them. The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans chapter 15 that this is not right. Selfish living is not God-pleasing living.
There is a better way. Paul writes, “Even Christ did not please himself.” It’s remarkable to look at Jesus’ life and see the way he was so selfless. Jesus did not live his life to please himself. Instead, he willingly put us first and died on the cross to take our sins away. Because he was so selfless, you and I are forgiven and saved and on the way to heaven through faith in him.
Let the selfless love of Jesus motivate you to be different. Out of love for Jesus, don’t try so hard to have it your way. Rather, as Paul says, “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for living such a selfless life for me and for willingly giving that life on the cross in my place. Motivate me with your love today to put others first and to serve them as you have served me. Amen.