Dan Britton is the Chief Field Officer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has served FCA since 1990, and since 2013, has led FCA’s international efforts, traveling extensively around the world, as FCA works in 92 countries, training thousands of sports leaders, coaches and athletes.The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of BCNN1.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”— Philippians 2:3-4
Recently, my friend was watching his two grandkids playing at his house. Six-year-old Sophie turned to her brother who wanted to play the game first and explained, “You can go first … after me!”
She almost got it right. My friend’s heart swelled with pride for half of a second. It’s a funny story, but a story that highlights the disease of me. We are all infected with this hideous disease that others often can diagnose quickly but goes undetected by ourselves.
I fight this daily, and I desire to switch my battle cry from “Me First!” to “You First!” When we make this switch, we become others-focused. General William Booth, founder of Salvation Army, understood the importance of “You First.” On December 24, 1910, the Salvation Army was holding its annual staff conference, and he was scheduled to deliver the opening keynote but failing health prevented him from attending.
His assistant encouraged him to send a telegram to encourage the staff to continue on. Booth agreed. At the opening session, the moderator announced to the thousands gathered that Booth had sent a telegram. He opened it and read one word:
Signed, General Booth
One of my favorite Bible passages is Philippians 2:1-10, because it reminds us to have the “You First” attitude. Paul uses the word “don’t” to start verses three and four: “Don’t be selfish” and “Don’t look out for your own interests.” That’s a one-two punch! I think General Booth was summarizing these two verses with his telegram. Paul drives it home in the next verse, “You must have the same attitude that Jesus Christ had.”
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