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By Col. Scott McChrystal, Battle Ready Ministries Board Advisor
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“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
(Philippians 2:3,4, NIV)
Have you noticed that you don’t have to teach a child to be selfish? It comes naturally. This is true for adults as well, even Christians. Though we have the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to refrain from selfishness, we still must choose. Too often we yield to the old sin nature. This applies every one of us. No exceptions.
This summer is a great time to reflect on these two verses Paul penned to Philippian Christians. Selfish ambition…vain conceit…both can be conquered, but it starts with humility. It takes valuing the needs of others above your own.
Time is running out. Are you ready? Read The Military Guide to Disarming Deception by Col. David Giammona and Prophecy Investigators Founder Troy Anderson.
I don’t like shopping. I’ve never stood in line all night to be among the first to take advantage of a sale on Black Friday after Thanksgiving. But I’ve witnessed pushing, shoving, and abusive language by selfish people intent on buying a discounted item before someone else claims it. “Me first!” “Get out of my way!”
Here’s another example. When bad weather causes power outages and other problems, I’ve seen greedy retailers gouge buyers by hiking the prices for generators, chain saws, and bags of ice melt to gain an unreasonable profit. I imagine you’ve observed similar behaviors
Thankfully, we’ve also witnessed examples of kindness and self-sacrifice and have been on the receiving end of generosity. When we’re the beneficiaries of unselfish behavior, we’re motivated to do likewise.
But should it take a kind act, or some unselfish behavior shown toward you, to motivate you to put others’ needs before your own? Jesus modeled humility and selfless service toward others, and He commands us to follow His example.
The story is told of an anthropologist who showed a game to some children in an African tribe. He placed a basket of delicious fruit near a tree trunk and told them, “The first child to reach the tree will get the basket and everything in it.” When he gave them the start signal, he was surprised that they were walking together, holding hands until they reached the tree and shared the fruit!
Read the #1 bestseller The Military Guide to Armageddon by Col. Giammona and Troy Anderson.
When he asked them why they held hands and walked together to the tree, they answered with astonishment. “Ubuntu!"
“Ubuntu” in their culture means “I am because we are.” Those children realized their collective happiness was far more important than one person’s exclusive satisfaction.
Imagine what our own American culture—currently struggling with hatred and division—could gain if more people began to live by the ‘Ubuntu’ principle.
Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal, Ret.
Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal was commissioned in 1970 and served 31 years on active duty, 10 as an infantry officer and the remainder as a United States Army chaplain. His line officer experience included a tour in Vietnam as an Infantry Platoon Leader and three assignments with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
His final assignment was as the senior chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
He retired from active duty in 2005 and served as the Military/VA Representative and Endorser within the Chaplaincy Department for the General Council of the Assemblies of God from 2005-2019.
His decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Award, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, and the Army Ranger Tab. His education includes a Master of Business Administration Degree, a Master of Divinity Degree, a Doctor of Ministry Degree, and graduation from The United States Army War College.
In recent years, he and his wife have written several Christian devotionals. In addition, Scott co-authored a Christian action-novel and served as the managing editor for the The Warrior’s Bible, an application Bible for the military community.
He presently serves as the Executive Liaison for The Warrior’s Journey, a non-profit organization that supports the military community.
He’s also a member of the Distinguished Advisory Board for Battle Ready Ministries. He and his wife, Judy, live in Springfield, Missouri, and have 4 children and 12 grandchildren.
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