Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10)

It was a simple pair of shoes. No one was watching. Who would ever know? But the police officer stepped into the store and bought the high-end shoes. And when he knelt before the homeless man outside the store to place the new footwear on the needy man’s bare feet, he remained unaware that down the icy street, a video camera watched.

James speaks of a problem common to humanity. So many of our relationship problems, so many of our sins, arise from our own selfishness. We see things others have and want them for ourselves. Or we look at others in judgment because we want to raise up ourselves, if only in our own minds. But God’s opinion of this is clear. He opposes the proud and lifts up the humble.

Jesus offered the perfect example of this with His own life, from the moment of His birth in a manger. He humbled himself even further to the cross and was lifted up to God’s right hand. God calls us to set aside our selfishness and ignore the world’s unsatisfying siren call. Instead, we should humbly submit to Him and consider others before ourselves. Think how our world might change. Like when the video of the officer’s act went viral. He was deemed a hero and sparked a more-giving spirit in a lot of hearts.

Perform one act of service for someone in need, preferably something you’d normally avoid doing.

Diane Gardner is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in northern California, where she enjoys reading, painting, and exploring the San Francisco Bay area with her husband.