Read Mark 10.35–45.
This week, we continued our Reset series by looking at the decision of lifestyle. Too often, we have a tendency to drift toward a “me-first” kind of life where the questions we focus on are “How can I get the most?” and “How can I get the best?” Even James and John—two pillars of the early church—fell into this way of thinking. But when they asked Jesus their me-first questions, He calls them to live a radically different kind of life that puts others first.
Living an “others-first” lifestyle means that our driving motivation is no longer “How can I get the best and most for me?” but “How can I leverage my life for the benefit of those around me?” This may seem like a simple question, but it actually leads to a radical way of living and a much different concept of what living a “great life” actually means.
By living an others-first lifestyle, Jesus promises greatness in three specific ways.
1. When we bless others, we are blessed to an even greater degree. (Luke 6.38)
2. When we bless others, we generate relational favor with those around us. (Proverbs 11.24–27)
The opposite of this is also true: when people hoard their resources and time, they fail to generate goodwill with the people around them. This isn’t just about getting people to like you, it’s about cultivating an authentic, biblical, God-honoring community with those around you.
3. When we bless others, we will be rewarded by God for all of eternity. (Ephesians 6.7–8)
These rewards go far beyond our earthly home. Instead, we will be rewarded beyond anything we can even imagine when we spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven. Even though our lives on earth are temporary, we will be feeling the effects of how we choose to live them for all eternity.
While the rewards for living an others-first lifestyle are great, it doesn’t make this kind of lifestyle easy. In fact, it can be really difficult to get into a habit of living this way. There are two things our hearts need in order to truly live an others-first lifestyle.
We actually have to believe that Jesus knows what He’s talking about when He makes the promise that the last will be first. The world tells us to care for ourselves first, but in faith we can step into Jesus’ calling to live lives that serve others.
Read Philippians 2.3.
Ultimately, humility is realizing that our lives and our needs are small compared to God’s eternity. And the best way to cultivate this kind of humility is by looking to what Jesus gave up when He lived a perfect, others-first life and died on the cross for our sins.
As we reset our spiritual rhythms and head into the fall season, it’s important that we take stock of the kind of life we’re living and truly embrace a lifestyle that seeks to serve others for the sake of the kingdom.