God calls us to be humble and selfless. He wants us to “love our neighbors” and look at other’s interests as well as our own. Our God is a selfless God by giving us all of His love, attention, strength, carrying our burdens, answering us, hearing us, teaching us…we are meant to live by His example. Jesus came to us to be an example of how we are supposed to live as Servants of Christ.
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.Philippians 2:3-4 ESV
Here is something that I feel we are too often confused by – being selfless does NOT mean you have to be there for everyone else whenever they need or want you to be. Being selfless does not mean that you can’t think about yourself ever.
Being humble doesn’t mean you have to just bow down and say “yes” all the time, let people push you around, allow others to pour everything on you that they need to be lifting to the Lord.
You are not God. You need to stop assuming responsibility for other people’s hardships. It is not yours to bare. You carry your own to the cross and lay them at the feet of Jesus…but you don’t have to carry the weight of the world to the cross. Their burdens are not your crosses to bare.
What does God tell us about this?
2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.2 Timothy 3:2-9 ESV
We are given a warning about those who will be “lovers of self” and instructs us to avoid them. They consume us, “capture” us when we are weak. They pour their burdens onto us out of selfishness. Those who have a true relationship with Christ do not do this to other people. They seek their own pleasures and will destroy you and watch you crumble beneath them.
Unfortunately, I think everyone has someone like this in their life at one point or another and we never really know how to handle the situation. I know personally I always want to help people. I’m a “fixer” – that is what everyone who knows me well calls me. But what you have to remember is that you can’t fix the world. That is the burden of Christ, not of us, His humble servants. Our job is to live by His example and surround ourselves with like-minded people and grow in our relationships with Christ and lovers of Christ. Through this we shine our light and spread love and knowledge.
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV
He tells us to remember that our sincere and true faith brings us through any trial we face. God has given us all our own gifts to use. He reminds us to “fan into the flame the gift of God”. He gives us self-control which aides us in leading a selfless and humble existence.
Our Lord wants us to use the gifts He gave us to spread His light through us. This does not mean we have to be the light for those who refuse to see the light. Avoid people who consume your light and drain it out of you. Avoid those who make you forget your true destiny, your true calling from Christ. Avoid those who put you in the shadows.
Stand up and love yourself by surrounding yourself with other selfless lovers of Christ. Don’t be afraid. Fear is not from Christ. Hand your fears to Him and walk in faith that He will always be there for you.