A man was tired of being bossed around by his wife, so he went to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist said he needed to build his self-esteem and gave him a book on assertiveness, which he read before he got home.

The man stormed into the house and walked up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, “From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house, and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then after dinner, you’re going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”

“The funeral director,” his wife replied.

In this world, we hear a lot about people with what is termed “low self esteem.” We are told that if you don’t have a high view of yourself then everything in your life will suffer.

Yet Christianity goes directly counterculture to this notion. God doesn’t say to love ourselves; He knows we do that naturally. Ephesians 5:29 states, “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”

The problem isn’t a lack of self-love but rather an excess of it. The key to happiness isn’t focusing on self, but focusing on others. Our Lord came to this earth, not to be ministered to, but to minister to others.

Commit today to focus on others . . . not on yourself.

The man who is furthest from God is the man who thanks God he is not like others. — William Barclay

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder