Character Quality: Selflessness

Character Quality: Selflessness with free coloring page.

Character Quality: Selflessness

Jesus is the embodiment of selflessness. His whole life here on earth was lived wholly and completely to the honor and glory of His Father. At no time is there evidence that Jesus thought of Himself. His focus was clear, His motives pure, His resolve determined.

Time and time again Jesus said, “I have not come to do my own will, but the will of my Father who sent Me.” Throughout His time in ministry He deferred to His Father in Heaven. Jesus lived and died completely under the authority of His Father. He lived to glorify the Father in all things.

Paul wrote about His selflessness beautifully and clearly in Philippians 2:

“If there is any encouragement from being united to Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any tenderness or compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, being one is spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, but He made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being found in human likeness, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knew should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

Here we have the perfect example of that we are called to be, how we are called to live. Notice the imperatives:

Be like-minded

Be one in spirit and purpose

Do nothing with selfish ambition or vain conceit

Consider others better than yourself

Look to the interests of others

Have the same attitude of Christ

Then in the example of Christ we see:

He made Himself nothing

He took the nature of a servant

He humbled Himself

He became obedient to death

These examples of Christ’s selflessness are taken directly from His last 24 hours in the culmination of His ministry and life: His death on the cross. The night before His crucifixion, at the last supper where He instituted the Lord’s Supper, He first washed His disciples’ feet. This represented an extraordinary act of selflessness as the job was usually relegated to the lowest of servants. Foot washing was the job no one wanted. It was stinky, messy and humiliating. Though appreciated and necessary, it was also assumed and taken for granted. Foot washers weren’t especially respected and revered. No one thanked them. No one tipped them. No one wanted to be them.

But Jesus seeing that there wasn’t’ a servant assigned to the task and that none of the disciples were volunteering for the task decided to do it Himself. The rest were taken back to see the Master having taken off His outer robe-His superiority, girded Himself with a towel representing His service and pouring water into a basin, representing Him pouring out His life for us.

As if those things were not enough what He did next must have truly astounded them, it did Peter. Jesus knelt, without announcement, probably more naturally than anyone would have expected and began doing the unexpected. Their conversations must have turned to hushed whispers. He seemed very comfortable in the position, not hesitant or aggravated, not resentful or bitter. He was just doing what needed to be done.

Strange thing though, as Jesus started out around the room, no one volunteered to take over. No one insisted that it wasn’t necessary. Peter came the closest when he protested; he seems to have been put out at the idea. But Jesus’ explanation assured Peter of the importance of the act and he consented, but perhaps more contemplatively than the rest. He certainly had them thinking.

Then Jesus came to Judas. And He began to cry. It didn’t go unnoticed, but it did cause some confusion. Judas wasn’t exactly endearing, not exactly sweet, not exactly generous. Not exactly. They had seen Jesus’ tears before, several times, but those times made sense. This didn’t. Judas seemed uncomfortable. He fidgeted. He fumbled. He resisted making eye contact, though Jesus looked up at him several times, tears dripping off His chin.

Selflessness does what the moment, the situation, the circumstance, the relationship, the challenge demands. It doesn’t consider it’s own comfort or desire. It doesn’t demand attention or credit or reward. It responds to need, to serving, to washing, cleaning, working, and giving. Selflessness does. It acts.

As moms we can best teach our children selflessness by being selfless. It means we live it out every day. It means we joyfully embrace our roles as nurturers and teachers and care givers of our families. It means we take our cue from the Lord Jesus and seek to glorify Him in all things. Folding laundry, cooking dinner, ironing, sorting socks, changing diapers, driving the family taxi, staying up late to talk. It means we lay aside our expectation and our schedules and choose to serve with our whole hearts.

The world says that that means we allow others to take advantage of us, to abuse us, to treat us with disrespect. They say that we have to put ourselves first. But I don’t find that in Scripture. It doesn’t say “Seek first your own desires and dreams”. No, it doesn’t. It says, “Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and all these things will be added”. There is an admonishment with a promised reward. When we seek Him first it benefits us and gives us all we need to confidently and selflessly serve others. It was Christ’s habit of going ‘early in the morning’ to spend time with His Father that granted Him the strength to wash the disciples feet as an example to us to do likewise.

It glorified the Father for the Son to die and pay the sin penalty as the perfect Lamb of God. It glorifies the Father for the name of Jesus Christ to be confessed as Lord.

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Character Quality: Selflessness with free coloring page.



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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: July 23, 2015, by : Rachael Carman