Joy has been the topic of my last few blog posts and what we can do to maximize our Joy. As I hope I’ve shown, our joy depends a lot on other people and what they think of us; as we saw in Paul’s writings in the book of Philippians, this was as true in Biblical times as it is today. Remember: Times change, people don’t. And back then, just like today, people spent a lot of time trying to impress the other people around them. The only difference was how they went about it. Where we remodel our bathrooms, buy expensive, fast cars, and pay plastic surgeons to lift and enlarge just about every body part you can think of, in Jesus’ day people tried to impress other people with how religious they were and how well they followed the law as laid out in the Old Testament.
But not Jesus. Jesus was different. Jesus was very focused on people, but not on what they thought of him. In fact, Jesus is the most influential man in the world.
The Most Impressive Man in the World
You’ve heard of “the most interesting man in the world,” well Jesus is more than that, more impressive, more amazing, more influential. There is simply no one more impressive than him. There is just no disputing this fact even if you aren’t a believer. If you’ve been to my church, Canyon Springs, you may have heard me talk about the impact of Jesus on the world (it’s a subject I never get tired of talking about) . If so, here’s just a few of the things you may have heard me mention:
- More hospitals have been built in Jesus name than any other. The first hospital in America is Hospital de Jesus Nazareno which still stands today in Mexico City.
- More colleges have been built in Jesus name than any other.
- 92% of the first 138 colleges and universities founded in America were founded in Jesus name.
- The book detailing his life is the number one best seller of all time with over 5 billion copies and 100 million produced every year. Years ago, The Da Vinci Code was on the best seller list for three years. If Bible sales stopped today, for The Da Vinci Code to pass the Bible in circulation it would have to be on the best seller list for another 263 years.
- On average, 1,500 books are published about Jesus every single year.
- More people have been fed in Jesus name than any other in the world, more addicts have become clean, more marriages have been saved, more hungry people fed in Jesus name than all other names combined.
Jesus has had the most profound impact on the world than any other human in history and he didn’t earn that honor by wearing expensive clothes, or living in a palace, or memorizing the most scriptures. So how did he do that, especially considering the short amount of time of his life that has been recorded? How could he have that impact in 3 years? How could he get all that done?
Jesus got all that done in 3 years because he didn’t spend a single moment trying to prove himself. He didn’t waste time trying to get people to value him. He never tried to talk people into believing in him. He didn’t try to convince people he was God. When he was accused, he didn’t stand up for himself. Jesus describes himself just one time in the Bible. Are you ready for this because this is big. He says this:
28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28,29
Did you see how he described himself? He didn’t say “I’m God.” He didn’t say, “I’m the Messiah.” He said, “I am gentle, and I am humble.” That’s the way Jesus chose to represent himself.
Clearly Jesus had a massive impact on the world because He was filled with the Spirit and was the son of God. That’s the reason for the impact he had but, he didn’t waste a single moment of his life telling people who he was or trying to talk his critics into seeing his side.
Imagine how much could we get done if we didn’t have to prove our own value? How much could we do if we didn’t have to convince ourselves or the people around us that we are worthy?
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. -Harry S Truman.
Jesus’ focus was singular. It wasn’t to proclaim his value. It was to raise ours. What could we get done if we stopped spending so much time trying to prove that we are good enough and prove that we don’t have flaws and prove that we are successful enough and trying to raise our own value? What would happen if we took all that energy and spent it raising the value of the people around us?
[bctt tweet=”It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” username=”canyon_springs”]
Action Steps to Take Today
I don’t know the answer to that question but I’m excited to found out so I’m going to give you two specific steps you can take today to improve the value of yourself by adding to the value of others:
1. Stop complaining
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16
Let’s be honest. We are a part of a warped and crooked generation in which, as I’ve said before, everything is amazing and nobody’s happy. The more advancements we make, the more we take those advancements for granted, and then complain about them.
- We complain every time we take a trip on an airplane. Here we are flying through the air like birds, making a trip that would have taken weeks a century ago in only a few hours and yet every time we do we complain, about the line in security, about the delay in take off, about having to wait on the tarmac, about the service during the flight.
- We have these amazing supercomputers we carry around that we call cell phones that take pictures and answer email and search the internet for us, but we’re always complaining when they glitch or their batteries die.
- We have over 600,000 restaurants in the US or roughly one restaurant for every 500 people. A billion people in the world are starving and these are the things we are saying. “Where should we go to eat? Chili’s? I wouldn’t be caught dead in there. How about Sammy’s. No way; I hate Sammy’s. What about Pizza Rev? Come on get serious.” Then we pick a place and sit down and these are the comments we make, “What’s taking so long for the waitress to show up? Where’s my food. The service is so slow around here.”
Let’s be the people that are grateful. Let’s stop complaining that our cell phone isn’t working right or our wifi is too slow. I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating; Let’s be grateful people.
2. Start raising the value of someone around you.
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:19-21
Paul spent his time pouring into a guy named Timothy. Timothy was a guy whose mom followed Jesus; his dad, not so much. Paul saw value in him so Paul invited Timothy on his journeys around the world. Now that Paul couldn’t get out, he would send Timothy as his messenger. Look what Paul says about Timothy. Everyone looks out for their own interests, but not Timothy. He puts other’s first.
Do you know someone like that? If you do, do you want to be around them? Today decide that you are going to be that guy; the guy who isn’t looking out for #1. Instead be that guy (or gal) who’s making a difference in someone’s life.
There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there. –Gandhi
Til next time…