Putting others first is a great demonstration of trust and faith in God. Yes, you’re showing love for another human being when you serve them. You’re humbly following God when you put your interests behind those of someone else. But the question lingers, doesn’t it, who’s going to take care of me?
Running out of resources scares us. Scarcity scares us into living in ways that do not honor God. The one scared there is not enough money will rob, even though they may already have more than enough. The one who feels like love is a commodity will use it to his advantage while he can before it runs out. Do I need to remind you of the toilet paper wars of the early days of the pandemic? Price gouging during natural disasters? Time and time again people prove it a lie to say: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
So, our Christian witness offers an alternative vision for life. We aren’t scared of running out because God will provide. God provides through the generosity of others. God provides within the community of faith.
I recall reading on the history of orphanages in America. One comment that struck me was about Jewish communities. There were no Jewish orphanages. Why? Because Jewish families would make sure to care for abandoned children themselves.
How would they have money to feed another person? How would they be able to afford supporting a young child for the foreseeable future? God provides.
We cannot faithfully serve and honor God without humility. Humbleness before God seems easy to grasp. How can I compare myself to the One who created me? But our humility must extend to other people as well. The needs of other people should be more important to me than my own. In this sense, humility is taking a back seat so others can thrive. And that gets a little tricky.
How far do I go in my humility? Should I allow people to walk over me? Do I not speak up for myself? What if my cares and needs are not being addressed? These are situations we must, with God’s help, discern faithful responses. As a general rule, though, if I’m preoccupied with getting my way, the less willing I am to care for what others need.
Something Jesus taught us is that we cannot live for ourselves and glorify God at the same time. There’s a choice to make. One of the most beautiful ways we live out our trust in God is by humbling ourselves before one another and in service to each other.