Living one’s life for others is not as common as we might think. It sure does not come naturally. Living for self does! We all know that, and it can be a daily struggle to deny self in the interest of helping others. We like our own plans, our own space, our own time, our own loved ones, our own pleasures, our own – well, our own everything!

Mordecai, in the little book of Esther, looked beyond his own self-interests to the interests of God’s people. He lived every day with a desire to see God’s people sheltered, protected, strengthened and blessed.  This was his goal, even when it involved great personal risk to himself. When senior officials in the Persian empire plotted and schemed to end his influence and life – Mordecai was still unwaveringly faithful to God’s people and their well-being.

Even much earlier in his life, when adversity struck, he adopted his young cousin Esther. What a nuisance to have to be shackled with the burden of raising your uncle and aunt’s kid!

“I know it’s the right thing to do but at this stage in life, I don’t need the added nuisance of wiping someone else’s child’s dirty nose! I’ve got my own life to live. I know Esther is an orphan but there are orphanages for kids like her or someone else will step up to the plate and take on the responsibility. After all, I don’t need the hassles of raising my cousin.”

Those aren’t Mordecai’s words!

Mordecai had a solid track record of watching out for the interest of others – first his cousin Hadassah, who later was named Esther. But then it seemed to mushroom into a care for the good of all of God’s people left in that land. He risked the threat of execution by refusing to bow to Haman. Obviously, his mission in life was not his own self-preservation but the preservation of God’s interests and His people.

Of course, as always, God ensured that Mordecai would be honoured for his integrity and selfless devotion to the greater good of God’s people. The last verse in the Book of Esther records this:

“For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.” Esther 10:3

There was a Greater One who came seeking the good of all and not only speaking peace but making peace by the blood of His Cross. He came for others. He died for others. He lives today for others. But what about my track-record? Am I living for others? Do I put the interests of others ahead of my own? Am I putting the good of believers and the local church ahead of my dogmatic positions, pet peeves, and gripes? When have I last made a sacrifice that hurt me to benefit others?

“Lord, help me today to be more Christ-like in living for others, even when it inconveniences me, conflicts with my schedules, dips into my wallet or grates on my frazzled nerves.”

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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