Lord, help me to live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer will be for – Others.
Others, Lord, yes others,
Let this my motto be –
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.
Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true,
And know that all I’d do for You
Must needs be done for – Others.
Let me be crucified and slain
And buried deep; and all in vain
My efforts be to rise again
Unless to live again for – Others.
And when my work on earth is done,
And my new work in heaven’s begun
May I forget the crown I’ve worn
While thinking still of – Others.
This particular hymn, written by Charles D. Meigs, was unfamiliar to me. I found it in the “Cokesbury Hymnal” which was a gift to me from one of my aunts. Based upon what I could research, the inspiration for this hymn came from General Ballington Booth. Mr. Booth was the founder of the Volunteers of America, and an officer in the Salvation Army. It is told that in the early 1900′s, he had a desire to send a telegraph to the many Salvation Army posts around the world, but due to the expense of sending telegraphs, he was limited in what he could send. He ultimately chose to send a one word telegraph. That word was “Others.” It is believed that Mr. Meigs, inspired by this one word telegraph, wrote the lyrics to this simple, yet profound hymn.
I did a search of the word “others” in the Bible looking for what Jesus had to say about “others” and how “others” impacted His ministry. Here are just a few examples of those passages:
* Matthew 7:2 “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
* Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
* Matthew 26:67 “Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him.”
* Matthew 27:42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.”
* Mark 4:14-20 “The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”
Do you know where the word “Another” comes from? You guessed it, the combination of “An” and “Other.” The Bible speaks often of how to we should act towards “one an-other.” Paul commands us to “be devoted to one an-other,” “honor one an-other,” “live in harmony with one an-other” “love one an-other,” “accept one an-other” “greet one an-other” “be kind and compassionate to one an-other” “pray for one an-other” and “submit to one an-other.” That is a pretty extensive “others” checklist.
Do you know any “others?” I do. This hymn and these Scriptures are reminders of how we should treat “others.” I pray that I can put these into practice in my daily walk, and I hope this is your prayer too.