The First Step to Joyful Living

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.—Philippians 2:2

Conventional wisdom says that you must always look out for number one and do whatever it takes to succeed. But that is not how the kingdom of God works.

Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi, “Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose” (Philippians 2:1–2).

The Message puts it this way: “Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

This goes against conventional wisdom about how we are to succeed in life, but this is what the Bible says. Some people may say, “I don’t know what planet you’re from, but that won’t work in my situation. You don’t know what it’s like in the world that I have to live in.”

What we are talking about is the way that a Christian should live. The Bible says the first step to joyful living is to put the needs of others before yourself. Paul said, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:4).

That seems like a recipe for disaster and failure in today’s culture. But here’s what the Bible says: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6).

If you want to be a happy person, then you cannot be a self-absorbed person, because a self-absorbed person will be a miserable person.

Radio Program: “So What? — I”
TV Program: “Iran, Israel, and ISIS Part 2”

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Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

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