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One Christmas, William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, wanted to send a message of encouragement to his staff and volunteers. He chose a message of one word - "Others!"

The meaning of life is summed up in that one word. The secret for true joy and happiness is found in that one word. Jesus Christ's entire reason for living and dying is totally captivated by that one word, OTHERS.

That indeed is the "life that is true", a life lived for others.

There is a story told of a wealthy nobleman in Italy who had grown tired of life. He had everything one could wish for except happiness and contentment.

He said; "I am weary of life. I will go to the river and there end it."

As he walked toward the river, he felt a hand tugging at his trousers. Looking down, he saw a frail little boy who pleaded, "There are six of us. We have no food, and are dying." The nobleman thought; "Why should I not help this poor family? I have more than enough."

Following the little boy, he entered a scene of misery, sickness and want. He gave them all of . . .

One Christmas, William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, wanted to send a message of encouragement to his staff and volunteers.  He chose a message of one word - "Others!"

The meaning of life is summed up in that one word.  The secret for true joy and happiness is found in that one word.  Jesus Christ's entire reason for living and dying is totally captivated by that one word, OTHERS. 

That indeed is the "life that is true", a life lived for others.

There is a story told of a wealthy nobleman in Italy who had grown tired of life.  He had everything one could wish for except happiness and contentment. 

He said; "I am weary of life.  I will go to the river and there end it." 

As he walked toward the river, he felt a hand tugging at his trousers.  Looking down, he saw a frail little boy who pleaded, "There are six of us.  We have no food, and are dying."  The nobleman thought; "Why should I not help this poor family?  I have more than enough." 

Following the little boy, he entered a scene of misery, sickness and want.  He gave them all of the money he had in his pocket, telling them; "I'll be back tomorrow with more."

He left that scene with joy in his heart, and with no further desire to end his life.

That day, he had found the secret he had missed out on for all of his life - the true secret to real joy and happiness!

Everyday we come in contact with others, who like that little poor boy tugging on the nobleman's trousers, are dying for want.

They may not necessarily be starving to death or living in a disease ridden slum.  They may be looking simply for friendship, help, a listening ear, or just a kind smile and the words "hello!".

Everytime we come in contact with others, we are given a golden opportunity!  The opportunity to put others first and be kind.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy; "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity..."  Many Christians however, live their selfish, dull life to the death, all wrapped up in themselves, when the secret is staring them right in the face, the face of others.

The words to a song come to mind;

Others, Lord, yes, others

Let this my motto be,

Help me to live for others,

That I may be like Thee.

Many people get the wrong idea when they hear or read something like this.  They say; "Okay, okay...I'll give money to the church, I'll drop off some old clothes at the local mission...."

I'm sorry, but they're missing the point.  The only way we can really find the true joy and happiness of living for others is when WE actually do the living, not when we simple give a few bucks to someone else for them to live for others.

It is good and necessary to give money, but we must also give our time and ourselves.

There is another place where many people sadly miss the point.  When someone mentions putting others first or living for others, they immediately think of doing a one time volunteer opportunity or helping one or two people with some quick needs.

However, while that is good to do, truly living for others is a daily task.  It is a lifestyle that involves living for those around us on a daily basis, our fellow employees, or neighbors, the person at the grocery store or restaurant, the driver of the car trying to make a left turn across our lane of traffic, etc.

What about that last letter you received?  Did you bother to reply?  "Oh no, I didn't have time!"  No time to live for others?  You are sadly missing out on one of the greatest joys in life.

How about that co-worker who was hospitalized, did you bother to visit them?

That new family that moved in down the street, did you stop by to welcome them to the neighborhood?

The bagger at the local grocery store, have you take a moment to thank them and wish them a wonderful day?

The major problem so many people face in today's society is selfishness! 

If we could just grasp the great secret hidden in our Lord's example to us.  Jesus' entire life on this earth was spent living for others.  He healed the sick, comforted the hurting, cared for the dying, and then gave His own life - for OTHERS! 

The Apostle James summed up our entire purpose for living in this world when he wrote; "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction..."

You want to make a MAJOR difference in this world?  Try living for others!  It will bring you joy and happiness like you've never experienced before.  But it must be tried on a daily basis.  Don't just give it a single attempt and then give up.

And I feel I must add a word of caution here.  If you decide to start living for others, don't do it expecting things in return.  Do it out of a heart of love for others and for God.  We must not serve others selfishly.  The service that is done for self is no service at all.

That my friends, is a life that is True!

? 2006 - Joshua Goodling.
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About Joshua Goodling - At the age of four, Joshua was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only one week to live. That was over 34 years ago, so it's been a long week. He is now an inspirational and motivational speaker, seeking to encourage and inspire others to make a difference in today's world. You can visit his website at
http://www.joshuagoodling.com. He is also the founder of http://www.inspiritnews.com. You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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