Luke 14:1, 7-11
Lord, I believe in
you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow
your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and
those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.
Lord, please help me to replace my
selfishness with love.
1. I Want to Hear All about Myself:
Sooner or later we all experience the displeasure of
having to be around someone who is always promoting himself. Perhaps we do it ourselves, without
realizing how it disgusts the people around us. I remember working with one such fellow myself. He
was the nicest guy in the world otherwise, but he consistently and continually talked about himself.
He was his own favorite subject. It was his only noticeable flaw, but a fatal one. I'm sure he
didn't realize it. Probably if you asked him if he talked about himself more than other people talk
about themselves, he would have answered that he talked about himself about the same amount as
others do. He had plenty of other virtues, and I'm sure if he had rid himself of his major flaw he
would have been one of the most well-liked people where I worked. But he was always putting
himself in first place, and in our hearts we were always putting him in one of the last
2. Number One in your Heart:
On the other hand, you sometimes run into people who don't
wave their own flag. They seem to exist to support and help others. Maybe you don't always notice
when they are around, but you notice the effects. Everyone is happier. There is less stress. People
seem less worried. These people grease the wheels. If you need a hand, they'll give it to you and
you don't even need to ask. Their support and friendship are givens. You know you can count on them.
They are assets wherever they work because they know how to make the people around them more
effective. Everybody likes them. They may not have the greatest personality or a lot of social
skills, but nobody cares because the goodness seems to just ooze out of them. While they seem
unassuming and unimportant, everyone who is around them prizes them highly. Without even realizing
it, they are at the highest places in everyone's hearts.
3. Will I Develop my Ambition or my
of person am I? Am I a shameless self-promoter, always focused on getting as much for Number One as
possible? This strategy might work well in a company where people are faceless widgets instead of
personalities, where the bottom line is the bottom line, but it is never very successful in real
life relationships. Perhaps I do what I can to help others whenever I can, to make others feel good.
That is the way to real fulfillment. After all, Jesus said that those who wanted to be first must be
the last of all and the servant of all. Have I been foolish enough to think that Jesus was saying
that the way to achieve my ambitions is to serve? No way. Jesus isn't concerned with us achieving
ambitions, he is telling us how to be first in hearts. If you want to be first in hearts, be a
servant of all. If you have the humility to serve others, you will attain to a high place in others
hearts. When you take a low place, they will always raise you higher.
Conversation with Christ:
Dear Jesus, I am always trying to serve myself and my
and you want me to be concerned with serving others.
Help me to be more
focused on what really matters
loving than on what the world prizes empty,
Today, I will perform some act of service for another
person, preferably for someone close to me, preferably without their notice. These are the acts that
most deeply express love. Remember, if you expect something in return, even just thanks, it isn't
love, it's business.