Golden Rulers

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” MATTHEW 7:12 ESV 

Her daughter was distraught, arms crossed, and starting to cry. As the mom approached the car where she stood outside, she quickly surmised the situation. Inside the car, sat her son in the front seat, smiling smugly. Fighting the urge to roll her eyes at the familiar scene, she opened the car door so he could hear. 

“What’s going on here?” She looked at her son while motioning to her daughter. 

“Nothing. I just got here first.” His triumph was directed toward his tearful sister. 

“But I called it in the house, and he always does this!” she retaliated, throwing her fists down in consternation. 

“Which one of you is thinking about the other?” the mother queried, trying to quell the situation while pointing both of her children away from their self-serving perspectives. Then she worked to maintain equity and peace as she proposed a workable solution. 

Unfortunately, it’s not just kids who find consideration of others hard to grasp—and live. Grown-ups struggle in the same way as we strategize how to spend our limited time and hard-earned money the way we want whenever we get the chance. But the Spirit of Christ within us calls us to a different perspective. Instead of seeking to please ourselves, He invites us to consider others’ needs as more important than our own! Such deference defies our natural inclinations and demands that in every situation where we’re tempted toward selfish gain, we must die to ourselves. 

Dying to our own selfish desires isn’t fun, but it does develop the kind of life character that Christ demonstrates toward us. As we treat others the way we’d like to be treated, it not only frees us from enslavement to self, but the world also sees the supernatural kindness of Christ in our servant’s heart. 

Today, instead of self-promotion or entitlement, seek to be a blessing to others. Consider Christ’s kindness toward you and allow His Spirit to flow rivers of kindness through your conversation and consideration. 

Lord, I confess that I often care more about myself and what I want and need than I do about others. Holy Spirit, change that. Please help me die to selfish desires and show kindness to whomever You place in my path. In Jesus’s name. 

This is an excerpt from True Sweetness: Growing in the Fruits of the Spirit – a devotional now available on Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.