“No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.” 1 Corinthians 10:24 HCSB
Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone actually followed the instruction in 1 Corinthians 10:24? I suspect the world would look much different than it does today. Think about it for a moment: what would it really be like to live in a world where people were generally more concerned with the good of others and less focused on themselves? There would be less fighting, fewer shattered families, fewer broken hearts, less poverty, and less victimization of the helpless. The world would generally be a much happier place to live in. I don’t know whether or not sportsmen would still be willing to give up their favorite honey holes for big bass and whitetails, that is asking a lot, but who knows?
What I do know is that when people begin to focus on others first, rather than themselves, it brings out the best in humanity. One needs only to watch TV shows like Extreme Home Makeover to see just how effective selflessness can be in changing lives. I am not referring to the people getting a new house nor Ty and his crew (though they definitely express some emotion), but rather the volunteers. I love hearing the builders and volunteers talk about what a powerful experience it is to “give back”. There are scores of similar organizations today that are reaching out to kids and wounded veterans to get them involved in the outdoors, many of whom I get to work with. The best stories I hear are the ones that come from the volunteers and the others who give of their time and resources to help someone do something they would have never achieved on their own. There is a second, related “10:24” verse in the Bible that speaks to this, Hebrews 10:24, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works”. This is what exactly what happens when we begin to focus on others first; it promotes love and good works.
Have you thought about giving back? Have you thought about you can be less focused on yourself and focus more on others? Have you considered how you can change your own little corner of the world by your own selflessness? Opportunities to serve others surround us each and every day, sometimes in seemingly meaningless ways, but they are there. I bet if you asked God to open your eyes to these opportunities you begin to be see them all around you.
Though this should not be our rationale for serving, God does make us this promise in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure-pressed down, shaken together, and running over-will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” When we give to others we are really making an investment not just in them but also ourselves. God is the banker and He pays dividends when we make the right investments. What those dividends will look like for each of us I don’t know. They could be material or emotional but they will certainly be eternal. God does not forget the good you do when you do it in service to Him.
Seeking first the good of others before yourself is just good advice. You don’t have to believe in God, be a Christian, believe in an eternal reward, or even pretend to be spiritual to know that good comes from serving others. You can feel it in your heart and your soul. This is solid advice that even an atheist can follow and believe in. But just don’t believe it, don’t just watch it on TV, do it.