Sinclair Lewis’ novel Main Street tells the story of Carol, a sophisticated city woman who marries a country doctor. She feels superior to others in her new small-town environment. But her husband’s response to a medical crisis challenges her snobbery. An immigrant farmer terribly injures his arm, which needs to be amputated. Carol watches with admiration as her husband speaks comforting words to the injured man and his distraught wife. The physician’s warmth and servant attitude challenges Carol’s prideful mindset.
In all of our relationships as Jesus’ followers, we can choose to think we’re superior or we can humbly serve the interests of others. Paul, the apostle, tells us, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4).
We can learn to consider others’ needs more important than our own as we focus on Jesus’ example. He took “the form of a bondservant,” and gave Himself up for us (vv.5-8). When we fail in valuing others, His sacrifice for us shows us the humble, better way.
Joy comes from putting another’s welfare ahead of your own. (RBC)