I think that I'm smart. But I can continually be proved how people in my environment are smarter than me.
I think I'm a good, encouraging friend. But I can continually be proved how I'm less of a loyal, good friend than others.
I think I'm a good Christian, most of the time. But I can continually be proved how there are so many stronger Christians out there than me, people who are actually learning the wisdom that I cheaply spout.
That's not to say that I'm a 'bad' person. But I'm learning that I am not the best out there. Personal example: There's this girl I know, we can call her, um, Ruth (I don't want to put anyone online who doesn't want to be online, so hence the false name). Anyways, Ruth is really smart, and beautiful, and athletic, and musical, and everything I could ever aspire to be rolled into one, inquisitive, wonderful, nice girl.
Needless to say, I'm jealous of Ruth. She's plenty nice to me, and it's not like she looks down on me, but I like to find reasons to look down on Ruth, to affirm myself and make myself feel better.
Tuesday I led Bible Study, and it was about Success, and not making success the most important thing in my life, and one of the verses in the study was Philippians 2:3, but I suggest reading verses 1-4. It's printed below:
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I think that if statement applies to me, at least the part where I gain comfort from Christ's love, and hopefully the rest as well. So, I am to then have the same love?!? Whoa! do you realize what that really means? That means I have to love Ruth the way Christ loved me! That means I have to love the kid I absolutely can't stand in school. Consider others better than myself?!?!? UH, Impossible! There are clearly some people who are NOT better than ME.
*Ding Ding Ding*
Hello, this is the Bible! This is exactly what the passage is talking about! The conceit that I have, the feeling that I'm better than others!
So, back to my narrative (I promise I will at least try to tie this all back together, I have a plan but my mind moves faster than my typing). At Bible Study, everyone else reacted the same way I did, with the 'Uh, no, I don't want to follow that verse, it's too hard!" So we ended that night praying that God would change out hearts and make us willing to accept this mindset and accept the people that we think we are better than them.
Well, OH Boy, God listened and I can almost hear him rubbing his hands in anticipation, ready to teach me how much I put myself above others, make me eat humble pie, and use that weakness to show his grace and power elsewhere. I've been hit by the beauty and wisdom of those I previously thought poorly of!
That was God's little lesson for me this week.