"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

2/14/11

What I Prefer: Monday Manna


This week, Vonnie is hosting Monday Manna, so be sure to pop over to My Back Door and read the other entries, and link up if you want to participate.
"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." Romans 12:10 KJV 
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 NIV
God is obviously trying to get through to me. First, Vonnie picks this verse for Monday Manna, with no input from yours truly. Then our Sunday morning message was on Philippians 2:3-4 (Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.). So, here's what I came up with.


It's completely unnatural. It goes against every bit of my natural inclination. When left to my own devices, my "default setting" is to look out for myself. Sure, sometimes that "me" gets expanded a bit to include MY husband, or MY kids, or MY family--but it's still yours truly in the dead center of my own little universe.

But that's not the way God wants it to be. He wants you (and that includes me!) to "honor one another above yourselves," to "in humility value others above yourselves."

Now don't get me wrong. I certainly have my moments when I sacrifice for others' good - my kids'...my husband's. But it is almost always a purposeful, pondered, prayed-through act. That's because doing it is against human nature for the most part. Of course, the Lord gave me that "mama bear" instinct with my little ones, and love can make us act outside our natural tendencies. But that's not the norm.

But I've got news for me (and maybe you too!). I am not the center of the universe. My family is not the center of the universe. My country is not the center of the universe. Nothing that belongs to me is, in fact. With one exception.
The center of the universe is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, God my Father, and the Holy Spirit He gave me.
And when I do things to benefit only me, not only does it ruin fellowship and my witness with those around me, but it can hurt ME too. For every time I am selfish, I am going away from the Lord's perfect plan for me--and no matter how good I believe what I want for myself is, God's plan is infinitely better for me and everyone else.

So, with the help of His Spirit, I can take myself off that pedestal, and put Christ back on it--with others second. That's the only way I can have J(esus)O(thers)Y(ourself).

**

Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Vonnie's blog for more Monday Manna - and to link up your own thoughts on this  verse!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

3 comments:

  1. It's only possible through God's power. I pray for you often, dear JO.

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  2. Thank you,Jo. This is just what i needed to read this morning. I love your graphic. :)

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  3. Why is it that we can see this "center of the universe" trait so easily in others, and miss it in ourselves? Or is it just me? Excellent insghts, my dear!

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