Selflessness: Imitating Christ in a Selfish Culture

 
We live in a culture that’s saturated with selfishness. From all angles, we are thrusted toward self-seeking lifestyles and attitudes. Some would argue that this evaluation is pessimistic and would point to the actions of others displayed in crisis. However, it’s easy to notice that it takes catastrophic moments to compel us to selfless acts from our apathy. For we know it will not take long for us to move back into our usual self-centered habits.

 

Is there a different way to live? As Christians, are we called to be defined differently than the culture that surrounds us? Is there any example that compels us every day out of indifference to selfless compassion? In response to all three questions, we can affirm with a resounding yes!

As disciples of Christ, we show forth a different way to live, compelled by the example of our Savior: “3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:3-8 ESV).” Our Savior, the one who died selflessly in our place for our sins, is the example that should daily drive us from apathy to consideration of our fellow man. We do not exist to live for ourselves! We are called to live differently, not only in times of crisis, but everyday as we shine the light of Christ in this sinful world. Now, what about those whom we don’t like? Does this call extend to them as well? Yes! Remember what Jesus said: “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil (Luke 6:35).” Many of us might be comfortable to be selfless toward our friends and family, but how many times are we selfless toward those whom get on our nerves? How many times do we go out of our way to be compassionate to those outside of our social circles? To be Christ-like, we must grow in our concern and benevolence toward all, not just those whom we prefer.

May we pray that our community would be characterized by a “unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (1 Pet 3:8).” Might we always desire to do good for everyone (1 Thes 5:15). And for what purpose? To glorify Jesus Christ our Lord! To glorify the one who gave selflessly of himself. Amen
 
 
In Christ,