God’s Word for Today: Interests. We all have our own interests. Things that excite us. Objects that capture our attention. Events that we just cannot miss. Even TV shows that everything else is put aside so we can watch. I have to admit, one challenge in writing God’s Word for Today is knowing that the first paragraph needs to capture a person’s interest, or the rest of the message is forever lost to the finger that scrolls on to the next post of interest.
Some very successful people have been able to weed through their interests, find the one that carries the most weight, focus strictly on it, and make something useful and preferably profitable. If Mr. Facebook himself had not centered his premier interests and kept bouncing around with a thousand ideas, we would not have this useful tool that even I take advantage of everyday.
I suppose it is good to have many interests. Something to do with being diverse. I have been blessed with this trait. Maybe age is a contributing factor too. The older you are the more interests you have experienced? Maybe living has actually ended when you no longer have any interests? What a sad thing that would be.
Ok, so there we went again, almost on another tangent. We should be focusing on our interests, and somehow the subject of advancing age came up. But isn’t that another interest in itself. I encourage you to take some time. Especially in this Christmas season, to find someone who has surpassed the average life expectancy, visit with them, and talk about their interests. What their interests were 70+ years ago, compared to people’s interests now. Fascinating stuff. I hope this has sparked your interest.
Philippians 2:3-4. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
One of the most important life lessons I learned came at a fairly young age. Probably many years before I heard this Scripture. Maybe a Sunday School teacher had tried to teach me this Scripture previously, but my interests were elsewhere. Anyway, it was Dad’s birthday, or Father’s Day and I had bought him what I thought was a very special gift. It was a hunting knife with a leather sheath. Not anything extravagant or fancy. After all, I was young and didn’t have much in the way of expendable cash. But I thought it was really cool, and I just knew that Dad would love it.
Right before I gave Dad his gift, I heard Mom quietly say to Dad, “I think Terry bought this gift more for himself than for you.” I wasn’t supposed to hear those words, but I did. The little light bulb didn’t come on in my head, it flashed brilliantly. Realization of why I had bought this gift hit home. Dad didn’t hunt. He took us out and taught us how to use and respect guns, and then let us go hunting on our own. But Dad loved watching wildlife. He had gone past the hunting/survival instinct thing. Dad had no use for a hunting knife. I on the other hand, couldn’t wait till I was given my own knife. I bought this gift because of my own interests. This gift sat is Dad’s “junk drawer” for many, many years. I now have it. This knife has never been used for its original purpose. But more importantly, it is an occasional reminder of why we are here on this earth.
God didn’t put you and I here to focus on our own interests. Yes, we need to have interests to give us a reason to wake up in the morning. But, God simply asks that you put other’s interests first. How many of this world’s problems and conflicts would be solved or completely avoided is we put other’s interests first? What would happen to Facebook and Twitter if we started focusing on the interests of others instead of our selfies?
That last statement was probably not fair. I love seeing what other people are doing in their world and appreciate them sharing with me, their life. Hopefully you understand what this Scripture is saying. Your own interests are good and very necessary. Just don’t let them take priority over the interests of others.
Today, think about where we would be if God only looked after His own interests. If Jesus had come to this world, realized He was God in human form, and focused on what He wanted out of life. What would our world be like if Jesus had not been looking out for the interests of humanity? More importantly, what would our world be like if you and I focused just a little more on other’s interests? How bad does this world really need a new hunting knife? This world needs compassion, forgiveness, love, and attention to others interests………………
Prayer: My dearest Lord, who always has my life’s interests in mind. Forgive me for focusing so much on my own interests. It is easy to do Lord. I kinda like me. My interests make me happy. I know Lord, that my own interests are also a separation which leads to alone. Help me today God, to check out the interests of others. To put others first. We probably won’t quite fix the world. But with your guidance Lord, I know we can at least make it better. In Jesus’s, who put the interests of all, above himself, name I pray. Amen.