Food for Thought: Think about others first
This article is very much on a personal note, but I hope that what I am learning will bless all of you.
This month represents a time of loss for me. A person so very dear to my heart is moving out of state. We have been moving towards the possibility of marriage and so the feeling of loss goes very deep. He is moving because a much better job has been made available to him and so we agree that it is something he cannot pass up.
Don’t worry. We are going to continue our relationship, long-distance, still hoping that marriage will be the outcome. But, boy, long-distance is tough. There is nothing that can compare to seeing each other in person almost every day. Giving and receiving that wonderful hug hello and hug goodbye. Getting to cuddle watching TV together. No, it is not for the faint of heart. And definitely something we are not looking forward to. However, we both believe the other is worth the effort.
Which brings me to the point that is so important for us all. In these days, the attitude of “What’s in it for me?” and “Me first” is so prevalent that it can be easy to start thinking that way ourselves. Those attitudes can slowly creep in like a deadly mold.
So, what are the Lord’s feelings about these attitudes? There is a scripture that comes to mind that I believe sums it up pretty effectively. Philippians 2: 3-4: “… in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.”
Well, I admit that my current situation has intensely tested my having that heart attitude. This is certainly not what I would wish for myself or the unknown length of time that it will be. But what has gotten me through this so far and even given me joy? Thinking about him. Period. I know that this move will be good for him, in several different ways. I believe he is going to be happy, outside of missing me, of course. And because I love him, how can I not want the very best for him?
How can I not be happy for him and all that this means? Honestly, it’s just that simple. And in so many situations we may encounter. When we have a tough situation in any relationship, be it family, friends, romantic or work, are we thinking about the other person? Or are we thinking about what is best for us, what we want?
And there is another wonderful benefit to thinking about others first. Peace. I know for myself, when I start to get really anxious about this situation and then stop myself and begin to think about him, I feel a peace come over me. It settles my heart and causes me to focus on all the good in this move.
So, I encourage you, when you find yourself in a place of relational difficulty, try thinking about what the other person is feeling, before you think about how you are and just see what a difference it can make. For them and for you. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.