Guarding the Interests of Others

Under pressure, half-selfish always defaults to selfish. Instead of being half-selfish, guard the interests of others. Do as the Bible instructs and put other’s interests before your own. Serve people selflessly and lovingly. Find inspiration from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:3-11.

To become selfless, seek God’s help and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. Walk the path of “dying to self.”

Half-Selfish

“Half-selfish” is when we’re all about getting what we want and fulfilling our own selfish desires, but we need someone else’s help to make things happen. It’s selfishness wrapped up in a pretty package to make it appear as though it’s something else. We might want to be about others, but we’re still all about ourselves. Jesus’ disciples understood this tension all too well.

 

We Can’t See Our Own Selfishness

The Bible teaches us in Matthew 20:28 that “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” We admire that kind of selflessness in Jesus and the people around us. We just don’t want to live that way ourselves! The truth is we want others to live selflessly so we can continue to live selfishly.

Often, we can’t even see our own selfishness because we’re so blinded by the wounds inflicted upon us by someone else’s selfishness.

 

(Bonus) How Should Christians Handle Infertility?

When heartache hits, it is healthy to grieve and normal to question God. While we may not ever find a specific answer to our questions, we do know from Scripture that God does what he does so that his glory might be revealed in us, and that it is not consistent with his character to imagine that he is using circumstances to punish us (John 9:1-3).

In your heartache, turn to God, not away from him.  Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to approach his throne of grace with confidence, for there we will receive mercy and find grace to help up us in our time of need.

Ask God about the possibility of medical interventions. Go as far as God gives you permission to go. God might want you to pursue fostering, adoption, or to find other ways to be a positive influence in children’s lives. Lay your desire for a child at his feet and ask him for his direction.

If you have friends who are walking this tumultuous path, stick close by. They will need you to lean on and pray with them.

(Bonus) How Should Men Rise Above Lust?

Battling lust is not a recent struggle, nor is it an issue confined solely to men; different things tempt each gender. As Christ followers, rising above lust requires God-honoring boundaries to be placed around natural, God-given desires.

Luke 6:45 says,

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

In other words, what you feed on, you lead from. In order to rise above lust, or any other sin that tempts, one first has to make an internal decision that he or she wants to make a change and begin to feed on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—anything excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). It is by the renewing of our minds that we are transformed (Romans 12:2).

Second, master the art of making a right decision in that 2-3 second window of opportunity after temptation hits and pray that God will help you make the choices that honor him. Finally, find 2-3 godly people who agree together with you to fight for righteousness and let them hold you accountable.

(Bonus) How Should We Speak up About When We See Injustice?

First things first, settle your tone. How you speak is just as important as what you say. Never represent Jesus in a hateful, disrespectful tone.

Go to God about what grieves your spirit and allow Him to guide your response. Only after you’ve settled your frustrations in prayer, go make a meaningful difference.

And beware social media! You must go beyond mere words for your life to point others to fresh hope and transformation through Jesus Christ.

(Bonus) How Important Is Fasting?

Spiritual warfare often requires intense prayer and fasting, and God can use this time to awake your soul. That’s because when you temporarily set aside the indulgence of food to intentionally focus on prayer, something shifts.  You begin to long for something far beyond physical needs.

Including your family in prayer is always recommended. If you’re considering inviting your family to fast with you, please set limits and adapt accordingly.  (Note: It is not recommended for young children.)

How Can an Individual Fight Injustice?

We tend to overcomplicate and underestimate these issues. How you handle a big issue makes the biggest difference. When individuals like that come together as a church, it makes an impact—that’s why #OneMatters at 12Stone.

The most practical thing any Christian can do is ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what he or she is uniquely wired to address, and seek to make a difference there. Where God puts your heart, He usually gives you unique favor and influence.

How Do I Deal With The Fear Surrounding Racial Tensions?

PK made it clear: there is no superior or inferior race in God’s creation.

In Acts 7, when Peter realized that through Christ everyone is equal, the cure for racism was made known. The only way that hearts will change is through Jesus alone.

Society tends to enjoy the conflict because it’s leveraged for power—but the true power is found in God. The legitimate fears must be brought before God and His sovereignty, because what we are, we transfer to others. When we live in peace, we can share that peace with others.

Meaning Comes From The Truth

When approaching what’s meaningful in life, do you start with “me”or God? Sometimes we decide that we are the judge of meaning instead of God being the judge.

We didn’t design life, so we can’t judge. Since we didn’t design life, we cannot assign meaning to life. That’s up to God.

There are 2 ways to define meaning:

  1. When we start with God (from the outside in), we figure where we come from and why we’re here. All of our puzzling questions are based on the framework God lays out.
  2. When we start with “me” (from the inside out), we think whatever we feel, desire, or judge is real and correct. That leads to thinking God must conform to our conclusions and we decide what’s meaningful.

This is the central conflict in our culture.