Updated: May 3, 2021
"If there by therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." -Philippians 2:1-4
I recall times in my life where I have not always seen eye to eye with people. There have been many times in my life where these people were members with me in my own church. I can recall wanting to do my own thing and thinking my way was more important then anyone else's. I have also had this same attitude at work and even in my own home. I have bypassed safeguards and feelings and pushed through with my own agenda. I did not esteem (respect) others, but yet only esteemed myself.
I remember the day of my wedding, and it seems this is the day when everyone offers advice. When you're 23 years old, it seems like you know a lot and you have the world by the tail. I can recall my dad coming into the office prior to the wedding and offering his advice to me. He told me, "Son, you're always going to be king, but it's up to you whether or not you will be a loved king or a hated king." I thought at the time that I was just excited to be king of something. Rebekah can attest that there have been times where my kingship was not appreciated and times it was not wanted. I would refuse to humble myself and draw a hard line in the sand that I would come to regret.
I am grateful for the love and patience of others and especially the one who are tasked to live with me daily. I am thankful to Jesus and His desire for me to have a oneness with the Father as He had. I am grateful for the long suffering of my God through the sanctification process and I am amazed how He can change your life. I no longer strive to be contentious, and I try to avoid drama at all costs. I am grateful for Rebekah and how we have grown to be a team instead of individuals clawing for their own gain. I am grateful for the ones I serve alongside and for those who are united for the cause of Christ and not the cause of self.
I have come to realize that life is about others and not just about me. I am learning that I must submit myself to others including my own children. I am coming to realize that I must be concerned with the needs of others even beyond my own needs. I have found that this keeps me quite busy, but I have never had more joy than I do now. I have found that pleasing God should be my main focus, and my self interest should wane in comparison. I am reminded of the song written by B. Metzger that I sang in Sunday school:
"Jesus and others and you
What a wonderful way to spell joy
Jesus and others and you
in the life of each girl and each boy
"J" is for Jesus for He has first place,
"O" is for others you meet face to face,
"Y" is for you, in whatever you do,
Put your self third and spell JOY."
Where are you today, friend? Are you always the common denominator in drama? Do you strive with your brothers and sisters in Christ or do you desire to walk in one accord? Do you esteem others better than yourself or are you known for always demanding your own way? May we walk with our brothers and sisters in Christ in oneness of mind, and may we be quick to humble ourselves. Will your life spell J-O-Y or spell Y-O-U?
Stay in the fight!