Ladies, when our inner beauty is enhanced, our outer beauty shines!
No matter what we do to cover the flaws in our complexion, or to thicken our lashes or redden our lips, we should always remember that it’s all irrelevant in the grand scope of things. When it comes to true beauty, we should be putting more effort into strengthening our inner beauty. I’ve already discussed patience, kindness and integrity. This week we’ll focus on selflessness!
What is selflessness? Well, it’s not about being generous, although that is part of it. Selflessness means putting our own needs aside for the sake of helping others, regardless of how it affects us. When Jesus saw the poor widow put her two pennies into the temple treasury, He told His disciples that her contribution was worth more than the large amounts offered by the rich people. Why? “They all gave out of their wealth;” He explained, “but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:44)
But selflessness is not just about giving money. It’s about giving anything we can that will lift the burden from someone else, even if giving it may, in some way, be a burden to us. Just remember, though, that being selfless does not mean allowing others to use us or walk all over us!
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)
Consider practicing more selflessness in the following areas of your life:
- At school. This includes being a friend to someone who needs a friend, even if it affects your current friendships. It also includes helping others academically, or even giving to friends or peers who may be in need. Do you know of anyone who doesn’t get a lunch? How about sharing?
- At home. Helping your parents when you’d rather watch TV or play video games is an act of selflessness. So is helping a sibling do their homework or spending time hanging out with a sibling when you’d rather hang out with your friends.
- At your church. Volunteering your time is always a great way to be selfless.
Francis of Assisi famously stated that “above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” We are all capable of giving something of ourselves. If we evaluate our lives, we can clearly see that we can spare our time, money and stuff if it means bringing joy and comfort to others. Think of the widow’s two pennies.
If you’re finding it a struggle to be selfless, then consider the following tips:
- Recognize the value of selflessness as described in the Scripture. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you” (Proverbs 3:27-28). When God blesses us, we should be quick to share those blessings with others.
- Practice it. Make it a part of your day naturally. This can only happen if you consciously practice it. So, make a list of all the selfless things you can do, and every day, pick at least one. Eventually, you’ll find that you’re offering yourself selflessly numerous times a day. Just remember, selflessness expects nothing in return.
- Pray for it. God can instill within you the desire for good if you pray for it. Pray for it daily and even as you offer yourself selflessly to the need of others, continue to pray for it so that it becomes a natural virtue of yours.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12-14)
Ladies, are you selfless? Do you know of any other ways to strengthen your selflessness?