God is first, others are second, and you’re third. Don’t just think about your own interests, be interested in others. Don’t think less of yourself, just think of yourself less and others more.
We’re all tempted to think about ourselves first. “What’s in it for me?” “If I do this, what will my reward be?” “How will I look if I do this?” The influence of sin puts this attitude upon our heart every day. We need to wake up every morning and put ourselves third. What can I do for someone else today? I guide the success of each day by how I accomplished this effort. Starting and ending each day with an attitude of service can help us humble ourselves. Humility is not self-abnegation or denigration. You can be humble and take joy and pleasure in things for yourself. You can be humble and have high self-esteem. Humility is not putting yourself down. It takes time to lift others up first. When you choose to Be Third, you begin to properly be ordering your life. God is of the utmost priority and serving and worshipping him always comes first. Others come second and often it is in caring for, thinking about, and serving others that we serve God. Finally, we choose to Be Third so we can raise up and honor God and others better.
To show his care and concern for them, Jesus welcomed His disciples into the home not only offering them water to wash but by washing their feet himself. Jesus, being in very nature God, humbled himself to the point of washing the dusty and sweaty feet of his disciples. When you set out to Be Third, you will find that actions that seem beneath, you will become second nature.
When I am first, the worries and weight of the world fall on my shoulders. Things I cannot do are not done, and the pressure builds. Cast your anxieties on God as the one who can and will overcome every obstacle. When you look to Be Third, you know that you are held in the mighty hands of God; and He will accomplish His good will.
In our culture, when you speak in power and expectation, you are more likely to be served and answered. People use power to get their way. This just plainly doesn’t work with God. He is not impressed by your clothes, job, money, or ability to speak. It is those who come to God in humility who are heard. Be Third in your prayer life and know how great is our God.
Pride shuts out the opinions and input of others, but humility welcomes and invites it. A prideful person thinks they have all the answers, but the humbly wise one knows how far they have still to go. When you begin to Be Third, you see the joy and the gift that others are in your life. Wisdom comes in seeking God first and honoring others above yourself.
This is the joy of the Gospel: you aren’t good, and you can’t make yourself good. God can. The great freedom of faith is that we are not perfect and aren’t expected to be. God invites us ever deeper into righteousness, but we are all in process. Do not think of yourself too highly; do not think you have made it; never think you can save yourself; and Be Third.
“And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5: 5)
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2: 4)
“And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” (John 13: 14, 15)
Ideas for Action: Ask God, “Whom can I serve today?” Look for an opportunity to be last … in line, the last to speak, or last to be served.