Wednesday, April 13, 2016
As my wife and I were walking into a Home Depot store recently an elderly gentleman wearing a mustard colored T-shirt was walking out. I say “walking” loosely because he was actually sliding or shuffling his feet forward about 3 inches at a time. However, the thing which stood out and grabbed my attention the most was the slogan on the front of his T-shirt which read “Voy Volando.” (I’m flying) I thought to myself, “If and when I reach that age, (perhaps two or three years from now, maybe months) I hope I can have his sense of humor and his obvious acceptation of his present life’s stage.” The problem with many folks we know is that they take themselves too seriously. They have never learned to laugh at themselves and even if they don’t confess it, they sincerely believe they are more important or on a higher level than most people.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3KJV) The NIV says “value others above yourselves.” Even if Paul was referring to our interaction with others Christians, how many of us can honestly say that we think of others more highly than ourselves? And regardless of how much of that advice we can actually practice, the more we fall short of it, the more relationship problems we will encounter. I choose to believe that most pastors, like myself, feel highly distressed when they see certain of their members who constantly have “falling outs” amongst themselves. That should not be! Paul pleaded with the Ephesians to strive to forbear one another in love, to make a sincere effort to live in peace and maintain the unity of the Spirit. (See Ephesians 4:1-3)
Church folks don’t often want to hear it, but those who have relationship problems everywhere they go, can attribute it to one glaring fault: pride. They believe they are too important, that nobody has the right to treat them disrespectfully. And they are certainly not going to take it when they know their offenders are obviously inferior to them. There has only been One who has ever been above all reproach, who could justifiably demand all the respect in the world, yet He humbled Himself and “took it.” And because He did, all of us today are forgiven, redeemed, and Heaven bound. How could He do it? He did it because all the love, mercy, and compassion of God dwelt completely in His heart. If we allow God’s Spirit to lead and guide us, we too will be able to love others unconditionally. When we do, we will have no problem getting along with others and we will see them differently because we will see them in the light of God’s love.
Memory verse for the week: (1 Peter 3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”