Valuing Others Above Ourselves
by Chris Jones
I’ve been thinking about this post a lot lately. It’s a timely thought, with everything that’s happening at the moment.
Originally posted 09-10-2013
Right of Way
There are few things that really drive me nuts. Chief among them is people with poor driving etiquette. What are they trying to prove anyway (riding on bumpers, laying on their horns, not yielding the right of way)? People seem to be at their most inconsiderate of others when they’re in their cars. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have to deal with people on a personal level. Each of us is surrounded by our own steel cage, removed from more intimate, physical contact. It’s as if we have a certain agenda and nothing else matters, nothing else exists.
Changing lanes has become a test of wills. If you signal your intent, shouldn’t people adjust their speed to accommodate? It seems the rules may have changed. Who decided this? Now, if you see someone attempting to change lanes, standard protocol is to ride the bumper of the car in front of you, leaving no room to merge.
Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV) says, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 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.”
We could easily apply this same analogy to people coming to faith in God. What will this world ever know of Jesus, if Christians can’t master the principle of making room for others? Do we need to learn to yield to those around us, “valuing others above ourselves”? How might we need to adjust our pace to allow them to merge into our lane? It seems we’d rather point out all the ways their lives are incompatible with our flow. Does any of that really matter? If we receive the slightest signal that someone wants to come over, shouldn’t we make their transition an easy one?
In their introduction to Christ, is it more important that we win an initial battle of right vs. wrong, or that we welcome them into that same tender and compassionate spirit that gives us grace that we don’t deserve? It wasn’t anything about our preparedness or any pace of life that we achieved that allowed us to merge into His grace. Thank God for those who allowed us to limp along, even being delayed as they helped us get up to speed. Be watchful, patient and full of grace. Step outside the steel cage of any religious spirit that keeps you from seeing people as people. Yield your right of way to make room for them to merge into God’s grace. Be patient as they limp along. Bring them up to speed with love and understanding. Allow people to travel in our lane, the one that inevitably will lead them to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ, our Lord.