Beyond the Building (Part 4)
This is the fourth in a series of five posts designed to suggest habits that will help us take our Christianity beyond the building effectively.
The book of Philippians was written to encourage a selfless attitude among Christians, an attitude which existed first in our Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:3-8 summarizes the attitude of Christ as it was displayed through His actions. He was equal to God but let go of that status to live as a human being. Because of His human position, He submitted Himself to God’s will and obeyed God by offering Himself as the sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. The attitude and mind of Christ was completely selfless, totally centered on the good He could do for others without any concern for Himself. Christians will be even more effective servants for Christ if they leave behind the need for thanks and praise from men, as He did.
Habit 4: Be selfless. Timothy is described in Philippians 2:20ff as being genuinely concerned for the welfare of the church, and as seeking after the interest of Christ Jesus. Christ was interested in the salvation of the lost (Luke 19:10) and the unity of the church (John 17:20-21). Christians who adopt His interests as paramount to their work will be more effective in service to God than those who let themselves become entwined in some other earthly interest.
Truly selfless people are hard to come by. Tabitha (Dorcas) stands out as an excellent example of selflessness. She was supremely effective in uniting people by her selfless deeds (Acts 9:36-41). Because of her selfless kindness people gathered, ignoring everything else that could have kept them apart, and wept together over the passing of this great and effective servant of God. That is the effect of true, selfless, Christianity on the lives it touches.
God created us in Christ for good works and has prepared them for each of us to do (Eph. 2:8-10). He teaches us to do good for the praise that comes from God, not from men (Matt. 6:2, 6, 18). Irritations and aggravations that distract from selfless service should be dismissed and ignored. Serve selflessly because that is the way Christ served you. Serve selflessly because you care about souls more than an irritation. Serve selflessly because you will lead others closer to Christ. Serve selflessly because it will make you more effective in your service to the Lord, both within and beyond the building.