Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 (ESV)
One Saturday morning, I woke with ambitious goals for the day. Unfortunately illness interfered. I chafed at once again having to adjust my plans. Disappointment made me grumpy. I like the illusion of control over my own life.
My daughter-in-law shared that she can relate. As a mom of three little ones, she may start the day planning to take a shower, fold all the laundry, and work on her Bible-study homework. Instead, one child after another needs her, interrupts her, or undoes her work. She does a great job at adapting and shifting direction, accepting that sometimes we have to let go of our own plans. As we talked about how we’ve been learning to pivot from our own agendas to serving the ever-changing needs around us, I realized that attitude can be useful as a Christ follower.
Our culture applauds those with strong wills who set their own course and avoid distractions. But the kingdom of Jesus works differently. He calls us to put the needs of others above our own. The person who drops by our desk to chat may have a deep need for encouragement. The driver that cuts us off on the freeway may be in need of prayer that we can lift up on his behalf. Even a sick day in bed that stalls my plans can be an opportunity for me to fellowship with Jesus and learn from Him—a chance to offer praise and to intercede for friends.
As we follow Jesus’s example and look to the interests of others, we can find joy in releasing our wish for control and trust His purposes.
Faith Step: Be alert to interruptions today. Instead of getting frustrated by them, see if they are signals that you can meet another person’s needs.