1 Timothy 5:1-6:2
It’s easy to forget that our relationship with God should expand outwardly to those around us as it grows inwardly. Our relationship with God is very much displayed in the way we treat those around us. Growing up in a fallen world and being conditioned to a spirit of ungodliness from an early age, it is difficult for us to force our thoughts and our desires to be focused on others first and ourselves second. We are very selfish by nature.
Our relationship with Jesus should change all of this. Our relationship with Jesus should suffocate the selfish desires we nurtured from childhood and replace them with a spirit of selflessness.
Jesus is the ultimate example of putting oneself after those around him. He constantly allowed people to interrupt what he was doing (God’s work!) to immediately meet their physical and spiritual needs. This is our example. Jesus spent hours in prayer for you and for me the night before his crucifixion. This is our example. Jesus, the author of all creation, humbled himself to be born a helpless baby, to live a life of servanthood and to be executed like a criminal. This is our ultimate example of what it means to put oneself after those around us. This is the spirit of the instruction given to the church by Paul from 1 Timothy 5: love others more than you love yourself.
Paul addresses several social groups in 1 Timothy. We are encouraged to care for the physical and spiritual needs of everyone from the elderly, to the leaders of the church, to the young widows around us. No one is excluded from this instruction. Church elders and slaves alike are instructed to love those around them like Christ loved the church.
- How well are you loving those around you?
- How often do you pray for your church family and your neighbors?
- How often do you allow yourself to be interrupted by someone in need?
- When was the last time you selfishly served someone for their good rather than for your good?
These are all important questions that followers of Jesus cannot ignore. If you are growing in your relationship with Jesus, you should be growing in your service to those around you.