“I will…gladly spend and be spent for [you].” 2Co 12:15 NKJV
At first, Nelson Mandela was motivated by a dream to free himself from oppression. But his dream expanded to include others. He writes: “The hunger for my own freedom became the greater hunger for the freedom of my people. It was this desire for freedom of my people to live their lives with dignity and self respect that animated my life, that transformed a frightened young man into a brave one, that drove a law-abiding attorney to become a criminal, that turned a family-loving man into a man without a home, that forced a life-loving man to live like a monk.” When Mandela found himself at the crossroads of life—with one path leading to personal gain and the other to serving his people—he chose the more difficult higher road of helping others. And look at the impact he has made. Have you been confronted with that decision? If so, it doesn’t mean abandoning your dream. It means expanding it! Thomas Edison said, “I never perfected an invention without thinking in terms of how it would benefit others.” He didn’t stop being an inventor so that he could help others. No, he used what he had already accomplished for himself to help others. Don’t simply aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference! Paul writes: “I will not be burdensome to you; for I do not seek yours, but you…And I will very gladly spend and be spent for [you]” (vv. 14-15 NKJV). In getting and gaining you become successful, but only in serving do you become significant. So live for others!