Learning to Follow Jesus’ Selfless Standard of Love

Seeking first our own happiness can have detrimental consequences. Jesus set a better standard: selflessly serve one another out of love.

We get so wrapped up in our own lives, sometimes, seeking to satisfy and please ourselves, seeking our own comfort, seeking that which makes us happy.  I recently watched the Hallmark Christmas movie, Finding Santa, and in it, one of the characters told another that helping people is good, but that she needs to think more about her own happiness and desires.  In the same film, a father tells his son, “You do what brings you joy, Ben. What brings you joy. Because that’s all that matters.”

While the sentiment may sound nice and give us warm fuzzies, it’s not biblical, and sometimes it can be detrimental. In our self-serving pursuits, we sometimes overlook or even look down on those around us, especially if we think they are somehow less than us.

Maybe they seem weaker in faith because of some struggle they are going through.  Maybe their economic status is different than ours, or they don’t have the same level of formal education.  Maybe their doctrinal opinions seem less holy than our own.  Maybe the color of their skin is different, their accent is foreign, or their culture is isn’t the same as ours, so we dismiss or condescend to them.

That’s not the example Jesus gave of how to treat others.

Jesus Gave the Example of Selfless Love

In Romans 15, Paul describes Jesus’ example of how we should live our lives and, especially, how we should treat those around us: Jesus served others.

15 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Romans 15:1-7

Jesus lifted up the hurting, cherished the humble, and welcomed the broken.  Jesus took our sin, our due punishment, upon himself so that we will be saved.  He didn’t have to do this, but he chose to do this out of love.  We need to do the same with others.

We Should Follow Jesus’ Example

Although I enjoyed the film (yes, I’m a fan of Hallmark’s Christmas movies), the message conveyed by some of the characters to put oneself first and that self-satisfaction is the highest calling is unbiblical.  Even worse, it can lead to us looking down our noses at others.

We should, instead, find ways to help those around us regardless of race, economic status, doctrinal beliefs, or anything else.  As Christians – as humans made in God’s image – we should love our neighbor.  We should support each other, encourage each other, teach each other, and show others that they matter to us and to God.

As we help each other with our burdens, trials, struggles, and hurts, we show love and we help those in need, thus glorifying God and giving hope.

Do you do this in your life, or do you just pass by those around you, seeking only that which makes you happy?  We need to take a look at our behaviors and attitudes.  We need to obey the Savior we claim to follow.

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