By: JC Recovery
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Meditation: Resolving to Do Better
Our society today is focused on making resolutions and working to better ourselves, but it is important that we think not only about how we can become better and live a happier life, but how we can actually do better. It is natural for us to be so focused on ourselves and our own success, and while it is worthwhile to better oneself, it is even nobler if the focal point is on how we can benefit others through our words, actions, and attitudes.
God tells us over and over again in the Bible that we are here on this earth to serve others, without worrying about our own personal gain. When we follow God’s commands, we find that He uses our obedience to bless us and to bless others.
It’s Not About You
It’s not always easy. Putting others’ needs before our own goes against everything we are taught in society today. We learn from a young age that if we don’t fight for our own rights and happiness, no one else will do it for us. We are so used to looking out for number one that we will even push others out of our way to get ahead. This applies to most areas of life, including our health, our career, our relationships with others, and even our emotional wellness.
If, on the other hand, we make an effort to put others’ needs before our own, we stop being selfish which means we can stop magnifying our own problems. It can be such a relief to stop worrying about making sure we get what we need and start actually doing something to meet the needs of others.
Serving others is very good therapy as well. It can help improve mood, relieve stress, and provide motivation to continue doing what is beneficial. If a drug or alcohol addiction has controlled your life in the past, finding ways to help others can help distract you from your struggle, and will actually make you feel better about yourself. Volunteering, donating something, providing encouragement, and working for a cause are all ways you can resolve to do better this year. In doing so, you will aid in your own recovery and renewal while making life a little better for someone else.
What the Bible Says about Putting Others First
If you really want to make a change this year, think about how through your actions you can help others. God commands it in the Bible, He demonstrates it in His dealings with us, and He promises to help us as we strive to follow His lead. Below are some passages from Scripture that provide guidance for our interactions with others.
- If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25
- If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all. Mark 9:35
- We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1
- Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
- Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. I Corinthians 10:24
- For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:25
- Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. I Peter 3:8
- Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26
There are plenty of ways to get connected and help those in your community who are in need, but helping the disadvantaged is not the only way to do better. You can find needs around you every day, from the little old lady crossing the street to the haggard mother trying to keep her children from straying, to the lonely neighbor who has no one to talk to. Even your own family and close friends can benefit from your love, support, and kind words. Be a light in this dark world. Look not only to your own needs, but also to the needs of others – friends, family members, neighbors, and even those you don’t get along with. May God guide you in your new endeavors and provide renewal through His word.