…look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 NRSV
Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today.
Start with Scripture. Today, read Philippians 2:3, 4 from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top of the chapter on page 59.
Today’s verses have only one message. Key themes are selfish ambition, conceit, humility, selfish/unselfish. What are the two kinds of people that Paul describes here? The lifestyle Paul recommends is contrary to the philosophy and values of many today. Do you agree with Paul?
Read Chapter 9 of Reclaiming Joy. What parts of Ella’s story do you identify with?
Ella shares stories of selfishness—putting self-interests first—in chapters 8 and 9 of Reclaiming Joy, but she describes numerous examples of unselfishness as well. In your life experience, who has modeled selfishness and unselfishness? Do you see any relationship between happiness and unselfishness? Whom would you choose as a role model?
On page 63, Ella describes her parents’ move after her dad retired; and she asks, “How do we balance our own desire to be near our friends with the need to make life as easy as possible on our children?” How would you answer her? Do you think you think it’s important to consider how your decisions impact your family?
In chapter 7, on unity, page 44, Ella discusses the fiduciary obligations of the executor of the estate, a position often filled by the widow after her husband dies. Ella found the duty of loyalty—to put the best interests of the trust and its beneficiaries first, ahead of any self-interest—challenging. Is it realistic to expect a widow who may be facing years of care in advanced old age to place others’ needs first, especially if she may be jeopardizing her own financial security? Would this be difficult for you? What are the options?
In the final paragraphs of today’s reading, pages 64 and 65, Ella describes her experience as a new widow and the lesson she learned. When you are weighed down by setbacks and loss, how do you lift your spirits and leave the pity party?
Do you need to make any changes in your life to continue your journey toward joy?
What three things are you thankful for today? What moments of joy have you experienced in the last 24 hours? Take time to say, Thank you, God, for…
For an introduction to these 28 meditations leading to Easter, please read The Journey to Easter Joy: Daily Meditations, Letting Scripture Speak.
© Ella Wall Prichard, 2019