“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” Philippians 2:3-4
Be selfless. Lower yourselves. Look out for others. That’s all. Simple, right?
I think humans are naturally geared towards self promotion. Always taking the next step to get a step higher, we often put ourselves before others. We also have a big tendency to think we’re better.
What if I looked up to you, and you looked up to me? And she looked up to her and he to him? And so on? If everybody is looking up to somebody, no one is getting looked down on and that’s a beautiful thing. Lower yourselves so that no one is beneath you.
Do not look at someone’s life and measure your worth by their accomplishments. We’re all set apart, remember? There is no better with Jesus, just different. Of course she is in a different place than you are. It’s physically impossible for four feet to stand in the exact same spot, but wouldn’t it be all together lovely if four hearts would? Community.
If we could just admire someone for what they are, instead of adding up the things people are not, less than becomes less threatened.
Let’s not look at a person only for what they can offer you. Do not avoid someone when that something is nothing.
Be good, do good because of who you are, not what you think someone else is. Lower yourself to meet someone where they are, you do not know what drug them that far.
I read a piece of scripture in Ezekiel this week. God was talking to Israel, but just conviction because it can as easily apply to us.
“I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name, on which you brought shame while you were scattered among the nations.” Ezekiel 36:22
Not because you deserve it, but because I have a name to uphold. I say I am and so I must be.
And don’t we all? As Christians we are the standard. We should never lose an opportunity to protect that.
One of my favorite Old Testament stories is in Exodus. Moses is in the middle of a war, hands up to Jesus, and He is winning. As he begins to get tired, though, his hands start to fall and they start to lose.
“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” Exodus 17:12
Two friends saw him struggling and they came to help. Moses and his army won that battle because he had someone to be the support he couldn’t be. They were there to help, not to conquer.
Not for your interest but the interest of others. If you’re only serving someone for what you may receive, that’s not serving. That’s business.
“Whoever is generous to the poor, lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” Proverbs 19:17
I wish I had pretty words to tell you these things, but I don’t. Sometimes it just is what it is. No one is above anybody. We killed Jesus and with Him perfection died. No matter what anybody tells you, ugly hearts lead to empty lives. It doesn’t matter how you dress them up.
God’s humor can change your circumstance faster than you can change your shoes so be so careful that the pair you pick for the day walks humbly. The warning is there: as easy as you can be walked with, you can be walked on.
“Those who love only themselves and do not obey the truth, but do what is wrong, will be punished by God. His anger will be on them.” Romans 2:8
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16
“He who shuts his ears to the cry of the less fortunate will also cry himself and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
His anger will be on them. They will find nothing but disorder. They too will cry and I will not answer.
But all of those are fought with one:
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1st Peter 4:8
All were called to do is love people at least as much as we love ourselves. This world of division is evidence of our failing, but it still doesn’t hurt to try.
Love and Tuesdays,