Another kind of exchange


I’m thinking of another type of exchange today — it’s the exchange of my right to self-serving thoughts and actions for the privilege of thinking about and serving others.

This COVID year has been a season of isolation for all of us, and isolation can lead to an overindulgence with self, just because we talk too much to ourselves and not enough to others. It’s so easy in isolation to pull oneself into a cocoon and get lost in one’s own needs and point of view. Yet what are we living for, and who are we here to serve?

Jesus is our supreme example, who gave his whole life, all the way to His death on the cross, for the whole world. “God so loved the world that He gave…” (John 3:16). But even if you take away his death on the cross, you still see a man who lived for those around Him. Yes, He died for us, but He lived for us, too. Of course, we weren’t there, but had we been, He would have seen us. He saw everyone. He felt everyone’s need. He cried over the city of Jerusalem. He would have gathered everyone up in His arms if they would have let Him.

What will your day be like today? Will you lose yourself in serving others or will you be so absorbed in yourself that you cannot see anyone else? I know how to do the latter really well. Serving others takes a moment-by-moment conscious choice, especially when we are still isolated.

Let’s use this Easter week to reset our focus.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
(Philippians 2:5-8)

And later in this chapter, when Paul talks about Timothy, he contrasts Timothy’s concern for the general welfare of the believers in Philippi with those who have no such concern: For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 2:21) The interests of Jesus would be for the welfare of those around us — not us. Jesus will see to our needs. We exchange self-interest for other-interest, and it’s a conscious choice.


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2 Responses to Another kind of exchange

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    Well said, John. A side effect of too much isolation is that we think of only ourselves.

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