In humility, value others above yourselves.
—Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
Have you ever discovered that you have unintentionally wounded someone? Have you ever tried so hard to help someone that your way of helping becomes too strong, too determined, or too controlling? Have you ever said something without thinking how your words might affect someone else? Have you ever turned away from someone’s need because it would take too much of your time or effort? Have you ever ignored someone’s pain because you felt it might demand too much of you? Have you ever held someone at arm’s length when you really longed to be a part of his or her life? If we are honest, all of us have found ourselves dealing with these kinds of issues and the feelings that they bring.
Life is not just about me. I am called to value others above myself. Valuing people means more than just caring about them. When I value other people, I respect who they are. I respect their character and their opinions. I listen to their concerns without placing any judgment or expectations upon them. I become less concerned about my own needs and more attuned to theirs.
In the perfectly lived Christian life, I should live this way, but laying down your life for someone else is not easy. Jesus knows my ability to make it terribly complicated. He calls me to realize that He makes it so much easier when I surrender who I am for who He is. In Him, surrender is simple. Forgiveness makes it simple. Forgiveness frees me to love others. Forgiveness leads me to a place where I continually seek never to inflict pain again and never speak or act without thinking how someone else is affected. I never want to erect walls or allow my words or actions to force others to erect their own walls. Forgiveness leads me to what I need to change about myself, and it strips me of pride that threatens to consume my heart.
Lord, help me to make myself less. Help me to carry the hearts of others with great care and reverence. Help me to extend grace as you continually extend it to me. Guide me. Teach me how to keep your love simple, uncomplicated, and unconditional.
© 2017 Lynn Lacher
Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me