Have you ever been stuck in a rut? It seems like your life is going nowhere and there is nothing that you can do about it. No matter how hard you try to change things, they seem to always stay the same? The world will tell you that you need to try harder. That there is some secret that you are missing and when you figure it out, things will start to work out for you.There is a secret, but it is not very well hidden. It is written in the most printed book of all time, the Bible. The world will tell you that you need to focus on yourself but God’s word has a different suggestion. God’s word tells us that we need to focus outward, toward others and God instead of inward.
I think at a fundamental level, human beings have a need to be needed. We were formed as a relational creatures. We need each other! If you are constantly focused on yourself and not on others then you don’t fulfill this need. You try and satisfy your own needs and you are left empty.
Instead let me offer you an alternative solution to what the world would propose. Why don’t you focus on the needs of others first? If you are married and you don’t like the way your spouse treats you then why don’t you focus on making them happy first? God’s word doesn’t say “Husbands, love yourselves”. It says “Husbands, love your wives as God loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25).
If you don’t like the way someone is treating you then I recommend that you focus on their needs. Show them how to love one another by example. If you wait around for that person to change then you might be waiting a long time.
There is a cost to this however. When you put yourself out there to love someone else, you always run the chance of getting hurt. You are investing yourself into another imperfect human being. They don’t always reciprocate love the way you expect. They might not reciprocate love at all.
If you don’t invest into one another then you will miss out on the joy that God will give you. Life isn’t about avoiding all pain, it’s about how you deal with the pain. As Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
Spend your time loving God and loving one another. Each one of us is called to do this. Each one of us is gifted to love others in a special way that no one else can fill. There is great joy involved in focusing outward and loving. How will you love someone else today?