Above Yourselves

My reaction was immediate–and I’m sad to say that it wasn’t a good one.

Arriving early for work, I had planned to do some reading at my desk just prior to moving to an assigned area.

Only having a short amount of time for the reading, I sat down at my desk and looked at the clock.

Before I could even get started, someone who would be working part of the day in the next room stopped by just to have a friendly conversation with me.

There was a sudden thought of selfishness racing across my mind.

I was truly disappointed that I would not be able to do what I had planned in those short moments, because of the interruption of another worker.

Realizing very quickly that this was not the attitude that God would want me to have, I spent the next few moments listening to my visitor and making comments, deciding that talking with them was more important than what I had planned.

Quickly, it was time for us both to change areas and say goodbye.

Arriving at my new assigned area for that specific time, I was once again alone.

Within a few moments another coworker happened to be walking by me, having just arrived at work.

Instead of only saying, “Good morning,” to me and moving on, this person stopped and asked how things were going, since they knew that I had been dealing with some concerns in my family.

They stood there, patiently, as I spoke of recent issues dear to my heart.

With caring compassion, they encouraged me with sincere words and then walked on.

I had been so focused on what I wanted to do moments earlier that I was inwardly disappointed to see someone walk into the room while I was at my desk.

Now, in complete contrast, a coworker took the time out of their busy day to stop and check on me and how I was doing, freely giving up their moments to show their concern.

What attitude was pleasing to God?

Clearly, not my initial one.

Just as clearly, my coworker’s attitude was the right one to have.

Romans 12:10 reads, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

There are times that I need to put my own personal agenda aside and honor someone else above myself.

honor

Better Off Than One

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There they were.

Two ducks sitting beside each other.

Together.

Not alone.

Although I don’t know exactly how being alone feels to a duck, I do know how being alone feels to me.

God has blessed me with friends and companionship throughout my life.

There have been numerous people who have come alongside me to help me succeed.

When I have fallen, God has provided friends who have reached out to help.

Friends are a true blessing from God.

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Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.

But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.

But how can one be warm alone?

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated,

but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.

Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

—Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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What Really Matters

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Houses.

Cars.

They’re important.

We need places to live.

Places to eat and sleep in.

Places to talk and laugh in.

A way to get to our jobs.

A way to go where we need to go.

We could make a longer list of things that are important to our lifestyles, but what is most important?

Many years ago, my husband’s parents and younger brother survived the direct hit of a tornado to their property.

As we drove to another state to get to them, we were not concerned about a house.

We were not worried about cars, furniture, televisions or appliances.

Our concern was for the lives of our loved ones.

Were they okay?

That was what mattered.

I spend a tremendous amount of time working to afford things in my life.

Things like a house and a car.

A cell phone and a computer.

Stuff like that.

But what do I really care about?

My family.

My friends.

Do I spend a good bit of my time showing love and concern for them?

If they are more important to me than houses or cars, why wouldn’t I be devoting moments to nurturing our relationships?

Maybe it’s time to reevaluate my priorities.

Wash my car or call a struggling friend?

Clean the garage or attend my son’s ballgame?

What really matters, anyway?

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.

–Philippians 1:9-10

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what really