JANUARY 15, Malachi 2:1-2, Philippians 2:4

Although brothers, John and James could not be more different. John is tidy and neat; James is careless and leaves things all over the place. John’s nickname is Mr Tidy; James’ nickname is Mr Piggy, for his things are nearly always in a mess.

The fact that the two brothers share a small room does not help. Although both have been taught by their parents to give in to one another, you can imagine the conflict between these 2 boys. To be fair to John, he had been the one doing more of the cleaning and tidying in their room. But to James, these things were not important. He was happy to leave things where he last used them, and also did not mind if his brother did the same, except of course his neat brother would never do that. In their tiny room, the one small study table they both used could get very messy and be a cause for fighting. One day, John had had enough. He tied a long string across the room, drew a line across the table and pushed all of his brother’s stuff across. James was not allowed to cross the line and had to keep his things on his side.

So who was right, and who was wrong? Well, both were wrong, and both were selfish. James should have been more considerate in keeping his things and not making a mess. John should not have divided the room into two, for after all, their parents made them share a room to teach them how to cooperate and work with each other!

Dear child, are you selfish at times? Do you put yourself before others? I know it is not easy, but God has taught that we esteem others better than ourselves, which means to put others before ourselves. That means we cannot be selfish. The next time you feel selfishness in you, tell yourself that is wrong, and pray that God will help you control your selfishness before it controls you, like it did John and James.

Thought: Control selfishness or it will control you!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I know that at times I have been selfish. In fact, I have been selfish very often. Help me Heavenly Father to put aside selfishness, and to learn from Jesus, for He always put others before Him. In Jesus’ name I humbly ask – Amen.