Saturday, November 28, 2009

i < You

Philippians 2:3 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves…

I recently posted an article called He < I.  The main concept of that post was to pose a challenge to re-prioritize our lives, allowing God to increase as we decrease. 

This week I have been challenged to take hold of a whole new level of re-prioritizing:  others.  Since Wednesday, I have been home for the holidays.  My family is unique in this way: there are tons of us.  Try to imagine a Thanksgiving gathering with the entire cast of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and you’ll get a picture of what I mean.

It’s really a beautiful thing, actually.  So many different personalities.  We all come together to form a kaleidoscope of characters.  Everyone with their own unique experiences, perspectives, challenges, and journeys.

The natural product of coming together during holidays is this: to share your lives.  Updating each other on where we are going, what we are doing, and what God is doing in our worlds.  For most of us, we long for this sharing.  We long for this connection with other individuals.  And for most of us, in our natural state, that is our primary purpose in communicating with others- telling our stories.

Although I believe this verse means so many things, the one thing that stands out to me this week is in the area of conversation.  Jesus takes this natural desire for affirmation, and he challenges it.  He challenges us to take our longing to be heard, and exchange it for a longing to listen.  He dares us to put our lives on hold for a moment, making the lives of others our primary purpose.  He urges us to consider others better than ourselves, putting them first in every aspect- including in conversation. 

So these holiday weeks, as you are interacting with friends, family, and loved ones…remember this: consider others better than yourselves.  Take the time to listen actively first, before you attempt to be listened to.  Take the time to ask them questions and really care to know the answers.  Take the time to savor the details of their lives.  Take the time to make their lives important by your attentiveness and consideration.  Take some time to consider others better than yourselves.

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