I LIKE THE TONGUE-IN-CHEEK definition of philosophers one of my seminary professors would occasionally use. It's classic: "Philosophers are people who talk about something they don't understand and then make you think it's your fault!"
Lots of philosophies are floating around, and most of them are downright confusing. Interestingly, those that are clear enough to be understood usually end up focusing full attention on the individual. Consider a few of them:
Education says, "Be resourceful; expand yourself!"
Psychology says, "Be confident; assert yourself!"
Religion says, "Be good; conform yourself!"
Epicureanism says, "Be sensuous; enjoy yourself!"
Materialism says, "Be satisfied; please yourself!"
Pride says, "Be superior; promote yourself!"
Humanism says, "Be capable; believe in yourself!"
Philanthropy says, "Be generous; release yourself!"
Yourself, yourself, yourself. We're up to our gills with it! Do something either for yourself or with yourself or to yourself. How very different from Jesus' model and message! He offers rather a fresh and much-needed invitation to our "me-first" generation. Jesus says, in effect, "Be a servant . . . give to others!" (see Mark 10:45). In today's vernacular, we'd say, "Just chill!" Now that's a philosophy anybody can understand. And, without question, it is attainable. Here's how God sees it:
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Know what all that means? Let's stop thinking so highly of ourselves, our gifts, our contributions, and our abilities. Stop permitting two strong tendencies—selfishness and conceit—to control you! Let nothing that either of these words suggests win a hearing. Replace "selfishness" and "conceit" with "humility of mind." That's the ticket.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.