Those of us who are Christians, it seems, are frequently looking for help in our fight against sin - and not just sin, but the sin of self-centeredness in particular. How transformed my relationships with my wife, my sons and my neighbors would be if I were less self-centered! Can you relate?
In the opening verses of Colossians, Paul gives us a powerful weapon in our fight against the sin of selfishness. Consider his logic in 1:3-5, "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints -"
Stop right there. Paul is testifying to the supernatural and self-denying love the Colossian Christians had for each other. That's what you want. It's what I want. How do we get it? What was the Colossian's secret? Let's keep reading: "...because of the hope laid up for you in heaven." There it is. The key to the Colossian's selfless love for each other was a regular remembrance that soon they would be in heaven where all joy would be theirs for eternity. In heaven they knew they would have Christ in His fullness, THEREFORE they could afford to serve others rather than themselves, they could afford to spend their money on others rather than themselves, they could afford to help others pursue their dreams rather than use others to pursue their own dreams here and now because of the certain and eternal joy which waited for them in heaven. Their future impacted their present and robust relational sanctification was the result.
Do you want the power to say 'no' to yourself to the glory of God today? Remember the future.