Philippians 2:3-4 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Ending 2017 with this on my mind. If there be competition among us, how can we be pleasing to God? This is the question that plagued my mind as I laid down to rest the night before last. Needless to say my night was restless and my heart was heavy.
I began to think about my Jesus. I call Him “my Jesus” not because He is only “my Jesus” but because He truly is my Jesus on a personal level. However, that is just the thing…He is “my Jesus” to all of us. Often, being a mother of more than one child, you have to make decisions based on family and based on each individual. This can be conflicting at times, doing what is best for an individual all the while keeping the “whole” in mind, the family. Many times during our days of parenting, we are faced with these issues. Truth is, each individual decision affects the whole. It is uncanny how an individual decision can affect the wholeness of a corporate body, however it can. We find, in scripture, how each member makes up a body:
“1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (KJV)12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.14 For the body is not one member, but many.15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
I talk to Jesus as if He is my Heavenly Father. That being said, my heart became heavy when I took the time to think about Him being everyone’s Heavenly Father. Sad to think, I, me in myself could be so selfish. Sometimes, I hate being in the flesh. Does my request put Him in a predicament, by answering, bring harm to another one of His own? My brother or my sister? Are my prayers prayed selfishly, not minding the “whole”? Could I become that person who always choose other’s over myself, realizing the betterment of the whole? Could my everyday decisions be made in a manner of responsibility to other’s not just myself, knowing how I live will affect the “whole”, just as each family member affects the family?
Tossing and turning all night long, I fought with myself. The self that truly desires to forefront love of other’s before herself, thus love enough to always choose what’s best for them vs. SELF, self that wants what she wants regardless of the “whole”. The self that is tired of being the “one” that is suppose to have all the answers. As the night turned into daylight, I concluded, I know all the well the pain from decisions made by an individual that would affect the “whole”, truthfully I even know all to well being the cause of pain from decisions that affect the “whole”, having the experience on both sides of the coin….I decided this, countless times throughout the Bible, Jesus let’s us know how important it is to be a team, to prefer your brother/sister ect. over yourself, to love unconditionally (which, by the way, will eliminate self) and to be humble, not preferring self. Realizing the goal…the goal to make Heaven my home, the goal of taking all I can with me, the goal of restoring each individual I come across while living here on this earth, these goals, which I cannot obtain without eliminating competition, self, or haughtiness. A goal which only can be reached through a broken, contrite spirit and a godly charity, always remembering in whom I have been redeemed, and leading other’s to that place. This is the betterment of the “whole”, bringing each one to a place that they can function properly within the body, the “whole”.
Just as each member fits so perfectly together making the “whole” function correctly, each member wounded, bruised, scared, or out of line will make the “whole” handicapped. Thinking in terms of family, this makes it tuff, tuff on the leader of the family and tough on the members of the family. If I think of Jesus as my leader, my Father, then these very things has to break His heart. Sometimes I feel broken, the pain is so intense that it is hard to even breathe, a pain to even dress myself seems difficult, but My father bore each of our brokenness, iniquities, pain and sorrow without fail. What a God we serve. My prayer today is to do my best to never break His heart. To do my best to play a part in the body that brings life and health….and do my very, very best to restore a member to full capacity, because I am not healthy without a “complete” YOU. You are part of me, my body. Help me to forgive beyond my own ability. In this, may I be pleasing to my Father.