Michael Wilding, a well-known British actor was once asked if there was anything different about actors that set them apart from others. He replied, “Without a doubt… you can pick out actors by the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from themselves.”
While we hopefully don’t reach the point in which we can talk about nothing but ourselves, we all struggle to some degree with the inclination toward self-centeredness. That’s our natural tendency. The world feeds this tendency by reminding us through advertising that we deserve the particular product they are trying to sell. It is a given that we will look out for our own interests which is why Paul writes here that in addition to looking out for our own interests, we should look to the interests of others.
Paul also goes on to tell us the reason we should look to the interest of others…because that is what Jesus did. Jesus came to serve others, not Himself. Jesus came to give His life as a sacrifice for others. When Jesus calls us to follow Him, in part this means that we should seek the interests of others. Notice that Paul also writes that this should be an attitude. It is not that we should seek to do one good deed for someone else each day. Rather, we are to take on an attitude of seeking what is best for those around us.
As physicians, we have a wonderful opportunity to live this out in our professional lives. Instead of seeing our patients as the way to support our standard of living or the source of the accolades we so desperately desire, we can see them as an opportunity to serve our Lord. We can develop the attitude of working to serve them instead of ourselves.
Developing this attitude takes time and practice. The Greek word used in this verse for “look” means to take aim at. It is a purposeful action on our part. Seek to “take aim” at the interests of your patients today.
Prayer: Lord help me to “take aim” at others I encounter today to seek their interests as well as my own.