High school and college seniors are on their senior slide already. (If they aren’t, they’ll be there soon.) In just a few weeks, they will be sitting in their caps and gowns listening to valedictorians and celebrity speakers telling them to do what they love, follow their hearts, and make a difference in the world.
Let’s face it, those speeches offer nothing more than a syrupy, shallow view of life. You see, when I hear that I should follow my heart, I think, “No way.” Deep down I know what a dope I really am. I know that left to my own devices, “out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). In my most honest moments, following my heart means that I am selfish. The only difference that makes in the world is a negative one—one that ignores people as I look for my own comfort.
Thankfully, Philippians 2:3,4 offers real wisdom with an honest, deep view of life that reminds me to follow God’s heart: “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.”
Want to make a real difference in the world? Serve God by loving the people he placed in your life. Do the good works he prepared in advance for you to do. Be willing to sacrifice time, money, and energy to look out for others.
Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. Her voice is heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace. She is married to Greg, and they live in Wisconsin with their three active children.
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