Following Jesus' Example of Service When It's Easier to Be Selfish

Welcome to Day 4 of the 7 Deadly Thoughts series! Today’s topic is Self-serving Thoughts.

Don’t forget to check out the introduction to this series, and the previous posts on Prideful, Ungrateful, and Merciless Thoughts!

Following Jesus' Example of Service

#4: Self-serving

My needs come first.

More than anything, I feel like the things I get frustrated about reveal who I really am. When I grumble about having to do chores that aren’t mine or growl about traffic inconveniences, I reveal the ugly selfishness of my heart. My attitude toward inconveniences reveals the status of my soul.

And lately, things haven’t been looking so good.

About a week ago, a thousand minor annoyances converged and I just about lost it. I had my list of priorities for the day and tasks I needed to get accomplished. I got frustrated because I wasn't able to get done what I wanted. By the end of that Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, after I had my little hissy fit, I realized that my priorities for that day weren't the important thing. Apparently, what really needed to be accomplished that day was God reminding me that His priorities are the ones that matter.

How will I know what God’s priorities are? By asking, and by following His example.

Asking Him

I’m challenging myself to start every morning asking God what his priorities are for me that day. I’m not expecting a divine itinerary to appear in my inbox each morning,, but I believe that through prayer and His Word that He will provide wisdom for each day, because that’s what He promises:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

Learning from His Example

Why do I feel like the world should cater to my needs and preferences, when the Creator of the Universe humbled Himself to save sinful humanity? Why do I feel so justified in my frustrations with feeling “overburdened” or “taken for granted” when I take God’s sacrificial love for granted every day? My thoughts become sinfully self-serving when I forget the example of Jesus, who served the unworthy to glorify Himself. I must follow His example of service.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:24

Whether we are scrubbing toilets, preparing meals, driving in traffic, wrangling rowdy kids, or working in an office every day, we have an opportunity to approach every task with an attitude of self-centeredness or humility. We must ask God for the desire and ability to joyfully serve others, enduring every annoyance, because we know that we are following in the footsteps of Jesus, honoring Him with our attitudes and our actions.


Will you take the challenge to ask God every morning what His priorities for your day are? Will you ask Him to transform your attitude to that of a servant in every task that comes before you?