This was really insightful for me. Paul was a murderer of Christians who had a complete conversion experience who went on to preach and teach the gospel, plant churches, convert many, and author most of the New Testament- the Bible, the most read book ever in history. His thirteen letters are all about love and encouragement of Christians and churches. Now here Paul is seeking to save the soul of Onesimus- a converted Christian slave, whom most people wouldn’t have given much of a second thought about.
This helped me to see that it is about other people. Some of the most miserable people I know are the most self-centered people. In dealing with teens, a lot of times messes are created with them wanting their own ways. In a fit, they want to go to another school, want another class, want another teacher, and begin that manipulative process of making everyone miserable in the meantime until they get their way… that is until the next dilemma they face and the process goes on and on. I use students as an example because that is whom I deal with on a daily basis, but this extends to adulthood as well. I am including myself in this. I know when I focus on my needs, my wants, and my desires (instead of focusing on others); I become unhappy, discontent, unsatisfied and unsettled.
On the flip side, some of the most joyous and peaceful people I know are the most selfless people. These are the type of people that live to put others ahead of themselves.
We need to look to Paul. As Christians, we are to look after others. Show love, mercy, grace, forgiveness. As Christians, we need to show others Christ. That is easier said than done. We need Christ daily to be able to show Him to others. Look at Paul and where he came from. He went from murderer to teacher, preacher, encourager, Christ follower and apostle. That gives me no excuse!
"The only way you can serve God is by serving other people.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.