When you walk into a room full of people, do you say to yourself, “Well here I am,” or instead, “How are they”? Do you open a door for someone and think, “Aren’t I thoughtful?” or “I hope this helps them”? If you could see the future and could know ahead of time that they weren’t even going to acknowledge you, let alone say “thank you,” would you still have helped them? Without bitterness? I’m with you. I’m not sure either.
We all struggle with this same thing–Selfishness, or Me First Syndrome. Even when we think we’re being self-sacrificing, these thought experiments expose a heart that is often far from where we presumed it to be. Loving my neighbor as myself? Really? You must be kidding. It seems like an impossible standard.
But take heart, and let’s follow this through. Does Jesus love His neighbor as Himself? You know He does. Now, consider Romans 8:29 “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;” Take a deep breath and meditate on that. Then, embrace the fact that you were made to be conformed to the image of Jesus, and there will come a day when loving your neighbor as yourself will be as natural as breathing.
You can exhale.
I hope this encourages you today.
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