James 3:15-18 (NLT)
15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
17 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. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness, of justice.
It makes sense that when we’re left to our own devices and not pulling toward a common goal, we get fractured results. We’ve all been there. Selfish ambition doesn’t need to be over the top greed, just a shade of “me first” will do it.
Matthew 13:33 (NLT)
33 Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
And what of motivation? The things of the world breed lust for things of the world. Jealousy, covetousness, resentments. The things of God breed peace, gentleness, mercy and good deeds. If it’s not, it’s not from Christ.
Isaiah 40:29 (NLT)
29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
And boy, do we need it. Imagine a world where we put others first. God, wife, family, others, self in that order. It’d look very much different than the world we have today.
Ephesians 2:20-22 (NLT)
20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
We are His house, built on a strong foundation of God and his teachings. There’s only one way that will work, though we try to humanize it and end in failure. There will come a day when His will will be done. There will be a day when we don’t come first.
Until then, try putting yourself last and see what happens to the world around you.