Friday, June 27, 2008

In Humility . . . .

Philippians 2: 3-4
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

I've read these verses many times, and each time something new jumps out at me. Today it was this command to humbly consider others better than yourself. Now if I were to do a self-evaluation in this area, I'd say that I'm doing a pretty good job. I'm very aware of the needs of those around me, and normally I do all I can to meeting those needs. However, as I specifically looked at the past few days, I realized that somehow my siblings hadn't made it into the "others" category. I had kind of forgotten about them, shoved them to the back of my conscience. :) And yet, they are the people I interact with the most! I definitely do not treat them as better than myself -- normally I don't even treat them as equals! Rather, through criticism and bossiness, I act as though I am "above" them, and don't act in a very humble way. If Jesus were saying this verse directly to me, I imagine it'd be something like this:

Becky, stop correcting, criticizing, and bossing your siblings around to make yourself look more grown up or responsible! You need to treat them with the utmost respect -- with humility, and a servant-like attitude, considering them not only equal, but better than yourself. Do you have any doubt that this is what I would do? Join them in doing what they enjoy, and show genuine interest in their activities and talents.

I often wonder why it's hard to get along with my siblings, why we seem to have conflicts about every little thing. It brings to mind something my parents have always told us - it takes two to make an argument! I am so tempted to just blame them for any problems in our relationship. But then, I have to realize that I'm not treating them in the way God has commanded me to treat them. And going against His will is going to get me absolutely no where. Kind of like trying to row upstream! This passage goes on to say:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life . . . " vs. 14-16a

This gives me the motivation for treating my siblings with humility. Not only am I obeying God, but I am shining like a star in the heavens -- what better testimony is there, in this world driven by self-gratification, than to give up my "rights" for others? And what better gift to give them than the "word of life"?

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