“Don’t be obsessed with
getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping
hand.” (Philippians 2:4
The starting point for all happiness is shifting the focus away from
yourself. If all you think about is yourself, you’re going to be a pretty
miserable person. If you truly want to be happy in life, you have to care about
the needs of those around you.
Paul gives Timothy as an example of this in Philippians 2:20-21: “There is no one like Timothy for
having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own
plans and not those of Jesus Christ” (LB).
Most people are worrying about their own plans and aren’t looking out
for the interests of others. Most people don’t get up in the morning and give
their first thought to how someone else is doing. Most people are concerned
with their own problems. And, that’s why most people are unhappy with their
If you want to be one of those rare, unselfish people, you’ve got to
change your focus. You have to shift your focus away from yourself to other
people. That’s not something that comes naturally, so it’s something you have
to learn to do.
I have to admit that it saddens me how many times I have missed the
needs of people around me that I love because I wasn’t paying attention. I
wasn’t taking an interest them. I hadn’t shifted the focus from me to the
others in the room. Because I wasn’t looking out for their needs, I missed
their needs. And that grieves me a lot.
Instead of grieving missed opportunities, be intentional about looking
away from yourself and to the needs of others, where you’ll find happiness in
serving God through serving others.
obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend
a helping hand” (Philippians 2:4 MSG).
- What are the distractions that keep you from focusing on the needs of
- What does it mean to “forget yourself”?
- What needs have you neglected to address in someone’s life because you
were too busy or focused on your own problems? What can you do today to shift
your focus toward helping that person?