September 21, 2008

Protecting Joy From Self-centeredness

Philippians 3:12-21

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.
Philippians 3:19


A two-year-old playing with a toy truck or doll announces with a stern look: “It’s mine.” Even adults often live by this kind of thinking: “It’s all about me.” Christians, however, know that the good life is found not in the pursuit of personal pleasure but in a life centered on God’s will. Self-centeredness is an enemy of true joy.

Selfishness dominates our current culture.

Private homes are guarded by a fence and protected by a home security system. I am drawn to this. The privacy of my home serves as a wonderful refuge after a busy day with people. The spiritual consequences, however, scare me.

Being self-focused is a slow path to destruction, for it essentially rejects true life. Believers in Jesus know they are to be managers of his possessions, servants in his world, and global ambassadors of his will. Because Jesus is our Lord, we glory in his death and resurrection, and our minds embrace heaven’s priorities. Believers learn to say, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

True joy is rooted in a relationship with Jesus, who alone is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). It is also experienced as fellow believers encourage each other to godly obedience.

Protect yourself from self-centeredness. Sacrifice your desires for his purpose!

Dear Lord, release me from being a slave to my own will and desires. Free me to listen to your truth, learn your ways, and live for your glory alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!