#101 Pleasantries

Sometimes I need these little reminders.

This one was on the 12th of October, which was the first day of the current school term in NSW. One of those days when you’re thinking you’re tired and you’d prefer to be asleep and wondering how to drag yourself out and back into the fray…

What to do when you feel that way? Be pleasant.

A google search defines pleasant as “giving a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment”. In this case, to others. That’s not what we’re taught to do in life most of the time.

We’re taught to look out for ourselves. To worry about what concerns us and to do whatever we can to get ahead. We’re not told to spend our days making others satisfied.

This of course, doesn’t mean we put ourselves into bondage and allow ourselves to be abused – that’s a long way down the line! But it is a complete mental shift, that’s totally Biblical.

As the apostle, Paul wrote:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 

Paul made decisions with the aim of benefitting others.

He didn’t ask – what’s in it for me? He asked – how can I walk the path that will bring the greatest blessing for others? And – how should I behave so as to make Christianity as appealing and as available as possible for others?

Paul had a complete reversal of priorities when he became a Christian. He stopped thinking about himself and started making decisions based on how it would satisfy others, eternally.

Not easy to do. Counter cultural, really. But I think the flip over calendar gives a hint: start small.

Give yourself an achievable aim. And sooner or later, if you start practising putting others’ wellbeing first, it’ll become second nature.

A good reminder for all of us…

Yours in having her memory jogged,

Alison

Image Credit: Personal Collection

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