Day Thirteen: An Empty Bucket Mentality
Fasting Date: Saturday, February 17, 2018
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:3-8 ESV)
We live in a “fill-me-up” kind of culture; one that encourages us to pursue our own interests, to satisfy our own ambitions, and to indulge in whatever we believe will bring us the most satisfaction in life. In this day and age, bucket lists are all the rage; lists that are filled with the places we want to go, the goals we want to accomplish, and the things we want to experience before our days on earth are done. These bucket lists represent those things that we believe will somehow signify a life well-lived.
But what if a life well-lived is one that follows in the footsteps of Jesus? What if true fulfillment is not found in consuming and accumulating things for ourselves, but in emptying ourselves and looking to the interests of others? Fasting is a practice that can help us nurture such a mindset. It is a chance to turn aside from our own self-interests and consider instead the needs of those around us. Rather than focusing on when our next meal will be served, fasting provides us with the perfect opportunity to think about how we can bless and serve others. The self-denial that takes place as we purposely limit what we normally consume can be a tool in the hand of God to help conform us to the character of his Son. As we intentionally lift our eyes from our own appetites, we are more apt to notice the needs of those around us. Then, when our days on earth are done, perhaps we will not have a bucket filled with earthly pleasures and treasures to present to our Savior, but an empty bucket that has been poured out to enrich the lives of others.
Reflection: As you continue your fast, ask God to show you a practical way that you can be a blessing to someone else.