It can be hard for us to grasp the fact that the bigger picture is bigger than ourselves. Our natural mindset (because of sin) is “it’s all about me.” And it doesn’t help that we live in a society that tells us life is all about making ourselves happy. Find the person that makes you happy. Spend your time in whatever way makes you happy. If something does not serve to make you happy, then hurry up and get that out of your life!
But this is not the message taught in Scripture. Nowhere in the Word does it say, “Therefore, go out into the world and make yourself happy,” or “Hey, just look out for number one.” In fact, it says quite the opposite. It says things like:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5).
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1).
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:35-40).
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galations 6:2).
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help” (Isaiah 58:6-7).
Notice that literally, NONE of these verses are about making ourselves happy. None of them are self-centered. They are God-centered and others-centered. And if Scripture – the Living and Active Word of God – is what we as believers are to base our living on, then the “why live in the bigger picture?” is clear. We live this way because it is how God has taught us, called us, and commanded us to live.
Praying you will follow His call and command!