Bible Verse: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2: 1-11

Years ago, in the distant past—before GPS and cell phones—I was given incorrect directions to a friend’s cottage. As we drove down a road in the forest that slowly began to disappear I knew something was wrong. The trees and bushes were closing in and there was less and less to drive on. I finally gave up and decided to try and get out. We were barely able to reverse down the path and make it back to the main road. Eventually we figured out the mistake in the instructions (turn left, not right) and made it to our destination.

Our culture tells us living for ourselves is the path to happy relationships, but we know this does not work. Studies show altruistic marriages are happier. But as we try to navigate the map, we find we cannot get there on our own motivation. We face traps of resentment, contempt, and even indifference. In the end, although we are trying to put the other person first, our motivation is still the same as the culture’s motivation. We are putting the other person first so we can be happy. Our motivation is selfish.
We are trying to be unselfish for selfish reasons.

Jesus offers us a better way. Read Philippians 2: 1-11.

Instead of being motivated by ourselves, we can truly put our partners first when we are motivated by what Jesus has done for us. When we are tempted by resentment we remember what Jesus gave up for us. When we are tempted by contempt we remember that Jesus died for our spouse. When we are tempted by indifference we remember that we are both created by and loved by Jesus.

Jesus is our motivation.

— Jeff Stearns, Content Director, Promise Keepers Canada

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