Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Pushing through adversity”
Our Bible verse for today: “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.” John 13:12-15 (HCSB)
Our thought for today: “Take your eyes off of yourself.”
In yesterday’s devotional we considered the sad example of King Saul. We read of how he was completely self-absorbed, wallowing in self-pity, and he had a victim mentality. Saul’s problem was that he was thinking only of himself, and that made every other problem he had worse.
In today’s Bible verse Jesus takes us to the exact opposite end of the spectrum. Here we find Jesus, our Lord and Teacher, modeling a life of service. Rather than being self-absorbed Jesus was always focused on how He could minister to others – and He did it while He had nothing for Himself. He had no home, no income, no money, and He was dogged by His enemies. And yet, He was constantly focused on being a blessing to others. In John 13:15 He made it clear that by doing so He had set an example for us to follow.
Psychologists tell us that the unhappiest people in the world are those who are self-absorbed. They’re the ones with the persecution complex and who see themselves as a victim. They’re completely consumed with thoughts about themselves – and that is the exact opposite of what Jesus teaches us to do!
Selfishness and self-absorbed thinking is an epidemic in our day. As a result, our society has one of the highest rates of depression in the developed world, with more people on anti-depressant medications than any other country, and one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
Conversely, when we do what Jesus taught, when we shift our focus off of ourselves and focus instead on serving others, our level of happiness and contentment skyrockets. Psychologist Paul Kellerman discovered in his own research, “The only path to genuine happiness and fulfillment is through service to others. It is only as we give ourselves away that we can fully discover ourselves.”
Taking yesterday’s devotional and today’s together, we learn that one of the best ways to deal with a period of adversity and difficulty in our own lives is to take our eyes off of ourselves and our own problems, and focus instead on serving and blessing others. Do that and you will quickly discover that you’re much happier, and your own problems seem smaller than they did when you were focused on yourself and wallowing in self-pity. So take your eyes off of yourself and focus instead on serving and blessing others. You’ll be much happier once you do.