Kingdom of Others

Does looking out for #1 ever get old to you? Do you ever wonder if there’s something more?

In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul talks about our interactions with each other. More than once—a lot, actually—he says we should be servants to each other, and that everything we do should be for the sake of others. He gives us the bigger idea, too, when he says, “…on the day of our Lord Jesus, you will boast of us as we will boast of you.” (II Corinthians 1:14) Meaning, in the Kingdom Come, we’re going to be praising Jesus and, if we talk about anythingelse, it won’t be ourselves. You’ll be raving about me, and I’ll be going on and on about you! 

We live in a culture obsessed with self-advocacy, but that route will leave you empty and alone. I think this picture Paul paints for us is pretty amazing. A day will come when our selfishness will melt away in the presence of Jesus, and our focus will be solely on Him and everyone else. We won’t be weighed down anymore by the worries of our own preservations or accolades. We will never again be scared, proud, or jealous. We won’t get tired or hungry, annoyed, lustful, or greedy. The last of us will be first, and the first will be last, and we’ll weep with laughter to see who exactly that ends up being. 

And can I tell you something odd? I don’t think we’ll miss being selfish at all. I don’t even think it will be a word or memory to us in that marvelous city, and if some greasy peddler could sneak in and whisper it into our ears, we’d swat him away like a gnat. That’s what Jesus’ presence does, it turns our priorities on their heads. He makes us whole, so that there is nothing left to advocate for ourselves; and in that wholeness, we are set free to turn our full attention on Him and on others.

Can I tell you one more odd thing? This is the life He has called us to, not far off in the future, but here and now. It will be made perfect in the end, because sin will be out of the way, but we still have the Holy Spirit now and Jesus said He’s with us. So let’s live in the wholeness of His presence, behold His glory, and put others before ourselves. This is where we find satisfaction, rest, and peace.