“So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?” (2 Corinthians 12:15)
Christmas time; love, gladness and helping people brings great fulfillment. When you spend your day serving others, you can lay your head down at night and sleep soundly. And even if you have spent much of your life chasing selfish gain, it’s not too late to have a change of heart. Even Charles Dickens’ Scrooge discovered you can turn your life around and make a difference for others.
That’s what Alfred Nobel did. He was shocked when he saw his obituary in a newspaper. (His brother had died, and the editor mistakenly named Alfred instead in an uncomplimentary statement, because the explosives his company produced and profited from had killed many people.) So, Nobel vowed to spend the rest of his life promoting peace and acknowledging contributions to humanity. That’s how the Nobel Prizes came into being!
When you get outside of yourself and contribute to others, you really begin to live. Unselfishness is its own reward; it’s not dependent on the response of others. This is the principle by which the apostle Paul lived: “I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me” (v. 15).
When you see a four-year-old, you expect selfishness. But when you see it in a forty-year-old, it’s not very attractive, is it? Of all the qualities you can pursue, unselfishness seems to make the biggest difference towards cultivating other virtues. Yes, it goes against the grain of human nature. But if you can learn to think unselfishly and become a giver, it becomes easier to develop other virtues, such as gratitude, love, respect, patience, and discipline.
Lord, as You have given Your love and grace freely to me, lead me to do the same to everyone around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.