Freedom in Forgetting Self

Though it might not always feel like it, jobs are a blessing. Our work allows us to utilize God-given talents, provide for our families, and grow both personally and professionally. See 1 Corinthians 10:31. However, when we feel overlooked or sense that our contributions aren’t valued, emotions like anger or envy get in the way. What should be a source of delight and fulfillment becomes drudgery we avoid at all costs.

The trouble starts when we think of ourselves as individuals rather than as members of the community. We are here to serve and help one another, after all – not to be served (Matthew 20:20-28). That’s why God’s Word says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Putting ourselves last allows us to lay petty concerns down instead of becoming defensive. Then we can experience freedom in the truest sense of the word.

The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 19, 2021.



Two sisters were busy preparing for Jesus’ visit. ¬†Upon His arrival, Mary turned her attention to the Lord. ¬†Meanwhile, Martha was distracted ¬†by the preparations (Luke 10:40) and became agitated that her sister was no longer helping. ¬†We may be thinking Martha was right-if there was still work to be done, her sister should not have been sitting down. ¬†Then we hear Jesus’ perspective. ¬†Observing that Martha was worried and upset about many things when only one thing was needed, He said Mary had chosen what was better (Luke 10:42).

There are some important lessons to be learned from this story. ¬†First, to have fellowship with Jesus, we may have to leave some things undone. ¬†Jesus knew how hard the women had been working and how much Martha longed to finish the tasks. ¬†But their greatest need was to spend time with Him. ¬†The sisters’ focus was to be on listening, learning, and interacting with Him.

The second lesson is that our choice to forgo an activity may be misunderstood. ¬†Martha certainly didn’t comprehend her sister’s decision. ¬†What’s more, if we fail to take time with the Lord, there may be unpleasant consequences. ¬†We see this in the way Martha’s distraction led to worry and agitation. ¬†Jesus invited her to choose the better way-namely, to be with Him.

Establishing a habit of communing with God is essential to our spiritual health. ¬†Even in our daily work, we can learn how to maintain an awareness of Him. ¬†So aim to choose the better way, as Mary did. ¬†Connecting with Jesus regularly will sharpen your focus on what is most important and help you distinguish what is good from what is truly the Lord’s best.

Commentary from In Touch Devotional Magazine by Charles Stanley, May 3, 2017.



Satan tries to trick us into thinking that life can be divided into two separate parts: ¬†the secular, which is separate from the Lord, and the spiritual. ¬†That’s a lie. ¬†As God’s children, we are spiritual beings, and every area of our life is to be an expression of that divine relationship. ¬†Whether employment, family role, ministry, or leisure pursuits, our every involvement connects into God’s purpose for our life and must please Him.

Portions of commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 12, 2017.

One Day Only


Didn’t Jesus serve others on Sundays only? ¬†

The Lord is very clear that works cannot save us-in fact, He compares our good deeds to filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). ¬†On the other hand, God’s grace is not a license to be lazy; Christians are called upon to serve the Lord every day.

From the outside, it is usually impossible to distinguish between works and service in someone else’s life. ¬†But God knows the motivation of every heart. ¬†He is pleased by the things we do to show Him our love and to express appreciation for His countless blessings. ¬†Such actions bring glory to His name.

Keep in mind that serving God in order to earn His favor or ensure that He continues His blessing in your life amounts to thwarting grace. ¬†You can do nothing to deserve the Lord’s kindness! ¬†He pours it upon believers freely, so the only thing you can “do” is receive it.

On the other hand, we may be one of those who has learned to be a passive observer par excellence. ¬†In my opinion, sitting in our chairs every night just being a viewer of things has sort of conditioned most of us to become that way, and is really the new normal, don’t you think?

There is actually A LOT of work to do, and it likely won’t come and find you.

“Christians should move on to spiritual maturity. ¬†We must feast on the meat of God’s Word and put into practice the lessons we have learned. ¬†It is the only way to grow up.” ¬†Haddon W. Robinson (emphasis mine)

Portions of commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, January 4, 2017.