Church should be an ‘others first’ place. To love one another is demonstrated in putting others first. That is what the Lord demonstrated when in the upper room with his disciples he says Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (John 13:14-15). This is self-sacrificing love for the benefit of others in action. Let us think of some church instances where this should play out:-
- After a church service is it your set purpose to focus on chatting with your mates? Or are you thoughtful of those who are new or are on their own. A word of welcome for the person there for the first time can make a big difference. A listening ear for someone cast down can be so valuable.
- When it is the fellowship meal do you pile up your plate with food because you want a good tuck-in and have no thought about depriving others who may be later in the queue. Or do you wait for others to go first and when you take yours you take a suitably restrained amount?
- When you come to church do you sit where you want because that is what you want? Should you not really pray and ponder about sitting where you might bless others.
- And how about your singing? Paul in Ephesians 5:19 instructs us to be speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, It is not exactly clear what Paul was encouraging the Ephesian church to do. But what is clear is that their singing was to impact upon one another. So I ask myself is my singing just to indulge me or is it conducted so others are prompted to edification and godliness through the way I conduct myself in singing to God.
All of these things would show your church and mine are “others first” places.