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.

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Blessed

Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.

–Psalm 106:3

 

Do you have a favorite place to sit when you go to a ball game?

Is there a certain pew that you seek out when attending church?

As a child, if you walked to school, did you have a particular route that was your favorite?

I have heard it said that we are “creatures of habit.”

Maybe so.

In doing some research about how long it takes to form a true habit, it seems that it may take several several months, depending on the activity desired.

To be fair, it’s probably easier for most people to create a habit of stretching for five minutes when they wake up in the morning than to create a habit of jogging for 30 minutes.

Both are attainable habits to form, given the inspiration and the will to follow through with the commitment.

Good habits aren’t all about exercise, however.

Character traits can also become habitual.

Psalm 106:3 speaks of someone who acts justly and always does what is right.

As situations arise, each of us has the ability to choose our course of action and response.

Will it be one of integrity?

Will it be pleasing in God’s eyes?

In making a conscious choice over and over again that falls within the realm of honor and virtue, we create a character pathway that becomes somewhat of a “favorite” to us.

If we act in a determined way for a long period of time, we are likely to continue to do so, unless we come to a great motive to change.

If it seems that we are consistently choosing to act justly, doing what is right, the psalmist has a word to describe us—

blessed.

 

act justly

Out Do

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10
When I came home the other day, I had a gift waiting from a friend, along with a card. 

It was a small briefcase, printed with a photo of old world bottles and jars. 

She has often encouraged me with cards or gifts through the years, picking just the right times to bring a smile to my day. 

I have seen her thoughtfulness displayed in the lives of others, as well. 

Romans 12:10 tells us to:

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”

With each day that goes by, I want to remember that I have the power to help and encourage others just by greeting them with a smile, a kind word or doing a thoughtful deed.  

 

Delight in Honoring

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It was a gesture of friendship.

Some friends came over for dinner a few nights ago.

When they arrived, I was presented with a gracefully arranged bouquet of flowers.

I quickly found a vase, filled it with water and placed the blooms on the table.

The flowers are still blooming, as I now have them in my kitchen near a window.

Whenever someone does something nice for me, it shows a certain amount of honor.

Knowing this, their kindness is a lesson about how I should be treating others.

Romans 12:10 reads:

Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other.

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