(Photo: Harvest Ministries)
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
- Matthew 22:37-39
Conventional wisdom says that if you want to be happy, then you have to look out for number one. You have to do whatever it takes to succeed and whatever it takes to fulfill your own desires and needs. It doesn't matter whom you step on. It doesn't matter who gets hurt in the process. You have to think about yourself. That is what the world says.
The question is, does it work? No. Because all of us know from the experience of having probably tried it that it is a complete failure to some degree. We know that our happiness ebbs and flows, and it isn't lasting.
Here is God's formula for a life that is meaningful and full. Here is how God tells us to live:
If there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:1-3)
Everyone says, "Look out for yourself. Think of yourself." But the Bible says, "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4).
The Bible teaches that we already look out for number one. That comes with human nature. It is not something we need to learn how to do.