One of the Christian characters to develop during Lent is selflessness. Jesus Christ said it’s the second most important of God’s commandments (Mark 12:31; Galatians 5:14). Your character is the first thing people notice about you; It reveals your identity in Christ and attracts others to you. How you handle certain situations, how charitable and generous you are to others, how you speak to others and the way you treat them is most important to God than anything else in the world. What a better time to repent and reflect upon this self-denying disposition than during this period of fasting and praying?
When God gave his only begotten son in love to humankind and with cruelty, his son was brutally murdered, God did not stop loving mankind. When Jesus Christ was taunted and insulted by his kinsmen, he simply retreated and said, ‘a prophet is not honored in his hometown (Luke 4:24)’. Could you have a right to something yet give it up for somebody else without getting involved in an argument? God expects us to act accordingly, to be selfless in words and in deed.
God has been teaching me how to be selfless lately though it’s been tough, it’s certainly been a great adventure. I had an encounter recently and in hindsight, it has shaken me to the marrow. As soon as we entered the pool area, I had my mind set on sitting on a particular chair and I walked towards it, except that somebody else had their mind on the same chair. Instead of choosing another, I ran towards the chair and got there just before him. He didn’t argue nor put up a fight, he simply resigned to getting another chair. This put me to shame. I was meant to be a Christian. I was meant to be selfless. I was meant to think of others first yet I failed in this test of my Christian character.
The only person who could be consistently selfless is Christ Jesus. His selfless character was one of the things that made him such a great person. If we can only strive to be like Christ and develop this great character, we would reap the reward in the bounty. So for this period of Lent, purpose in your heart to be selfless. Think of others first. Don’t insist on your rights and beliefs, walk away like Jesus did if you smell trouble brewing. Below is a set of Bible declarations to help you on your selfless Christian journey.
Make a Declaration of Faith
- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
- I pledge to do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride henceforth, but in humility, I will consider others more important than myself. I will no longer look only to my own interests but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4)
- I will put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no room for the flesh, nor gratify its desires (Romans 13:14).
- I will love others because God is love (1 John 4:8).
- I will submit myself to others out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).
- I choose to live by the Spirit and walk in step with the Spirit of God. I will not become conceited, provoke others nor be jealous of others (Galatians 5:26).
- I will not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but I will love my neighbor as myself as God gives me grace (Leviticus 19:18).
- As God gives me grace, I will love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, and pray for those who mistreat me (Luke 6:27-28).
- As the elect of God, holy and beloved by God, I declare that I am clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Forbearing with others and forgiving any complaint I may have against any other person. I choose to forgive as the Lord has forgiven me (Colossians 3:12-13).
- I declare I am united in one mind with Christ, having the same attitude as Christ had and being humble and sympathetic with others. I will love others as brothers and sisters love one another, I will be tender-hearted and be humble. I will not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this I have been called so that I may inherit a blessing from God (1 Peter 3:8-9, Philippians 2:5-8).