For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living in Difficult Days| Day 23

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3-5

Want to know the secret to JOY? This powerful truth will completely change your life, when you finally come to understand it. Ready? Here it is… It’s not about you!

It’s NOT about you! This simple and profound truth flies in the face of all the narcissistic foundations that most of our culture operates on. We live in a word in which every message focuses on you and your happiness. “Just be you.” “You do you.” “Live your truth.” “Treat Yo’ Self.” “Love your self.” “Get your best look” “Get the body you always wanted” “Get the job you always wanted” “get the guy you always wanted.”
Several years ago, actor Charlie Sheen had a drug induced breakdown that yielded some of the most bizarre quotes the world has ever known. After going on a partying run that made “Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, and Richards look like droopy-eyed armless children.” He described himself as having “tiger blood” and “adonis dna.” When asked if he was “bi-polar” he proclaimed himself to be “bi-winning!” “I win here and I win there!” He summed up his me-first mentality by saying, “One day I will die and that will be the end of me, so I might as well get every possible pleasure while I can.”

Let’s be honest for a moment- if this life is all there is… then perhaps Charlie Sheen has got it right. Maybe we should all just focus on our own happiness, fulfillment, success, and achievements. But, if there is eternal life, if Jesus is who He says He is, doesn’t that change everything? Listen to these words of Jesus…

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your own soul.” Matthew 16:24-26

According to Jesus, if you live life for yourself, for your own goals, glory, and gold, you will lose. But if you give away your life toward the cause of Christ and the needs of others, your life will be rewarded. So, if this life is not about self, then who is it about? “Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth… Everything has been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16

It’s all about Jesus! Jesus is the one who created us, and He is the one we were created for. He made us, and we are made for His glory. 

Paul (not Charlie Sheen), teaches us the true secret to “bi-winning.” Winning in life and Winning in eternity. It’s not about you! The secret to finding true joy in this life can be summarized in this familiar acrostic- JOY: Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.

The Kingdom attitude is a joyful humility fueled by grace.

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