One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
If you’ve ever wondered how to act around others or what to do to be accepted into their social circles, you’ve got plenty of company. The world gives us multiple examples of how to conduct ourselves on an everyday basis. Unfortunately, some of the behavior we see in others won’t give us the results we want. To get a true idea of how to live successfully in a world that keeps changing its standards, we can go to the Word of God.
We don’t have to look too far to see people who don’t love or respect themselves. This type of thinking shows through in their behavior and the type of relationships they form. If we don’t value ourselves, we attract others who don’t value us. While we’re still single, if we’re in an unhealthy, abusive relationship, we need to muster up the courage to move on. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
God loves us regardless of our marital status; we can be secure and confident of this. However, accepting what the world says about us can erode our sense of self-worth and create insecurity and anxiety in us. We may try to mask jealousy, envy, bitterness, and feelings of inferiority by competing with others out of strife, but emotional pain isn’t what God wants for us.
But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere (James 3:14-17, NLT).
Most of us have learned to put ourselves first, out of fear of being taken advantage of or left out. This is the opposite of the mindset God teaches us to embrace. “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:3-5, NLT). We can do this if we feel secure about ourselves as valuable human beings.
God’s feelings for us run deep. When we ask for His help, He comes to us right where we are and rescues us from worldly influences. When we’re restless and confused about what may be going on around us, He calms us. “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV).
We can only change our behavior when we first change the way we think. Constantly studying the Word, meditating on it, and applying it to our lives helps us change our mindset. We can truly love others only when we know God’s love for us. “We love each other because he loved us first” (1 John 4:19, NLT). Letting God lead us in everything we think, say, and do allows us to experience true success.