Others First

“Anyone who wants to be first, must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35 NIV.

 Give Jesus His rightful place in your heart
and others their rightful place in your life.

My thoughts and comments today are about “others first.”

Where two lanes of traffic merge, there would be reduced stress and less delays if everyone was just willing to do what they learned in Kindergarten – take turns. Our lives merge with other lives every day; you don’t always have to be first. Paul describes this contrasting lifestyle in simple, straightforward terms, ”In honor, giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:10 NKJV. Here are contemporary paraphrases of Paul’s words, “Outdo one another in showing honor . . practice playing second fiddle.”

A little late in life, I am learning that life is less stressful when deciding you do not always have to be first. Conversations are better when you don’t have to have the last word. Games are more fun when you play without having to win every time. Friendships last longer when you realize that being right isn’t the priority. Contentment is more achievable when you don’t have to be better than everyone. People are more eager to help when you don’t care who gets the credit. Those are all deadly symptoms of the “me first” attitude.

Jesus made it simple, “Anyone who wants to be first, must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35 NIV. When I was a young minister serving as an associate pastor, I sometimes found it helpful to repeat this rhyme, “It takes more grace than one can tell, to play the second fiddle well.” God challenged me to offer the best that I was capable of doing, for as long as He wanted me to do so. I think I was faithful to that, at least most of the time. Life is easier when you find the joy and satisfaction of living contentedly with who you are, what you have, and where God has placed you.

Jesus is first and foremost, no other beside Him, none before Him. When Jesus is has His rightful place in your heart, you will give others their rightful place in your life. “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. . Love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.” Galatians 5:14/Romans 13:10 NKJV.

Often proud and impetuous, Peter eventually learned to put others first, “All of you serve; serve each other in humility . . God shows favor to the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you.” 1 Peter 5:5-6. NLT. Honor comes from above when you honor others from your heart. Read Philippians 2:3-4 MSG.

Today, I pray for you to love God first, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Christian Communications 11247