I’ve been studying the New Testament book of Philippians with some wonderful friends over the summer. Every Tuesday morning we meet at the CC’s Coffeehouse on Jefferson Hwy. at 6:15 a.m. to pray, discuss the passage of the week and encourage one another with what the Lord has shown us in our study. What a joy it is to be associated with such Godly women and to have that common bond of Christ as our Savior.
One of my dear friends, Leasa, is a part of this study. She and I have also been meeting weekly for over a year to share what we’ve learned from being in God’s Word and to just enjoy doing life and encouraging one another through fellowship and prayer. This post is due in part because of Leasa…well, her trip, her dog, Roux, and my adventure today.
Leasa and her family are on vacation but had to leave their dog behind. He is a blue heeler – a very smart dog with quite a personality. The picture you see is a generic shot, not one of the real Roux.
Roux has a fenced in yard with folks coming to check on him while his owners are away. Well, Roux knows me fairly well, since Leasa takes him with us whenever we walk. Several times I’ve gone over to visit, and when I drive up Roux does his thing – he barks because someone has arrived.
Today, I went over to visit Roux while his owners were gone. I fully expected him to start barking immediately when I drove up, but I was pleasantly surprised. Instead I got a great big smile, saw perked up ears and a wagging tail! He was so glad to see me that he didn’t bark at all but was just excited. When I reached for his leash, he started jumping up and down and was ready to go for a walk. We had a great time together, and then I was able to watch as he showed off in his back yard, feeling really good about having a visitor and showing me his tricks.
What does this have to do with the title of this post, “The Interests of Others”? Well, the scripture that came to mind is Philippians 2:4 (New Century Version): “Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” Why did I go and walk my friend’s dog? Simply because she is my friend. I wanted to demonstrate my friendship by helping with her dog, and as I returned home this evening she had left a voice mail. What a joy to be able to then call and let her know I had just seen Roux and that all was well. I wanted to look out for her interests even though it was a hot and humid afternoon, and Roux would not have known any better had I not stopped by.
What compels us to be others focused? Does it come naturally? No! Selfishness comes naturally. Being selfless is one character trait that has to be developed with the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But as we grow in our love for the Lord, our love for others grows, and we then want to put their needs / their interests before our own. Sometimes God can use a puppy dog to help brighten our day as well as to strengthen the bond of friendship. I think that’s what has happened to me today.
I hope you have an opportunity to walk someone’s dog, to run an errand for a neighbor or to just sit and visit with a friend soon. As you purpose in your heart and ask for God’s help to look out for the interests of others, you will grow to be more like Christ, which is our goal. You’ll also be enormously blessed…and God will be so pleased.