It’s 6:30am and the alarm jolts me out of slumber. With my eyes barely open, I sit up, reach down for my cell phone, and think to myself: I wonder how many likes I got on my posts overnight. I hope I get finally noticed for my hard work and accomplishments today. Why does it feel like I’m sometimes left in the shadows? Today’s got to be my day! Basically, each morning, being selfish is the first place my mind goes.
Suddenly, my husband flips the switch. I wipe my eyes and begin to welcome light back into my life as I crawl out of bed. I look at my blocked-out calendar, and with embarrassing conviction I whisper to myself, ”I’m done being selfish.”
How many times have you wished you could crawl back into bed and have a redo? The thing I’ve always prided myself on the most is being selfless. (Ironic statement, I know!) My life verse I’ve lived by since I was a teenager is Proverbs 11:25. So, why do I sometimes still wake up focused on the wrong one—me?
It’s because I fall into the trap of comparison. My thoughts go from thinking about helping someone or celebrating a person to wanting to do better than that person. I want more “likes” and more affirmations. That’s how you gain acceptance from this world, isn’t it? But, it’s not what we’re called to as Christ-followers. We’re called to a more selfless path.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 NASB
Why should I be selfless? What sense is there in denying myself and making sacrifices for others? Well, when I start to slip back into comparison mode, I begin to view someone else’s success with envy. I deny myself the pleasure of celebrating others and instead make my ego ever more fragile by looking for something negative to criticize them for.
That’s an awful way to live. Jesus asks me to lose my life for Him, yet that’s exactly what leads me to finding my truest, most joyful, most authentic self. Instead of comparing myself and feeling less-than or jealous, I choose to celebrate with others not only in my heart, but publicly as well. Practice being selfless. You end up getting more than you give when your soul is doing the giving. It’s a daily practice of renewing our minds.
Here are three ways I’ve learned to renew my mind in order to be more eternally driven and selfless.
- Limit my time on social media. I love social media, and I think it’s a great tool for sharing our lives with the world. But, too much time on social media tempts me to compare and turn my thoughts back to how I can increase “me.” The more I seek what everyone else is doing, the more it takes the focus off of what God has called me to do.
- Seek accountability. I go public about my thoughts with my LifeGroup, my husband, and whomever else I choose to have as accountability partners. This gives them permission to keep my motives in check.
- Stay buried in the Word. If our goal is to be selfless, to live a life of sacrifice and self-denying, then we must learn from the One who walked it daily by reading the Bible. Jesus left Heaven to be with us. He was one with God, but still didn’t look out for Himself first. We’ll never find a better example of selfless living than following the example of Christ.
Start today! Choose to sacrifice your time, your resources, and even your motives for others. Wake up each day with more joy, less comparison. No more waking up and being selfish. Wake up thinking: I wonder how many people I can encourage today. I can’t believe I have a job where I get to work hard for the glory of God. I hope when people look at me, they see Jesus. Today’s God’s day, and I’ll be glad in it!