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“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
When a kind act was done to someone in need, Jesus said it was done unto Him. The Lord deeply feels our hurts. When someone is neglected, Jesus says He is also being neglected. We have a high priest who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities (Heb. 4:15). When we hurt, He hurts. When we are blessed, He is blessed. The God of the universe is intricately involved with every detail of our lives.
How can we esteem others better than ourselves when really we think we are better than others? Some people are better athletes than others. Some are better businessmen than others. Some are better speakers than others, and so forth.
First, we need to recognize that our accomplishments don’t make us better than others. There is a difference between what we do and who we are. Better performance does not make a better person. A person’s character can be severely wanting even though his performance is good.
Secondly, to esteem someone better than ourselves simply means to value them more than we value ourselves. To some that may seem impossible, but it isn’t.
That is exactly what Jesus did. If Jesus, who was God in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), could humble Himself and value our good above His own welfare, then we should certainly be able to do the same. It can happen when we die to self and live to God.
If we think only about ourselves, we will be selfish. If we get out of self and think more about the benefit of others than the benefit of self, then we will be selfless. It’s a matter of focus.