You Are Better Than Me

You Are Better Than Me

Equality.you_are_better_than_me

Our society clamors so loudly for it. It seems so noble, and patriotic. After all, is it not written in our American Constitution that all men are created equal?

The problem is this nobility isn’t what is fueling the changes we are seeing in our culture. Not a selfless desire to see everyone raised up, but a desire to have everyone brought down to our level. Having everyone equal to me is another way of saying no one is better than me.

I don’t have to be jealous of someone having more than I do. I don’t have to envy those who are “better” than me. We are all equal.  Taken to the extreme, it leads us into the world we see in Lois Lowry’s book, The Giver.

I’m not saying that is where we will end up, but we’re fooling ourselves if we think we are so great for esteeming equality, what is more, this isn’t what the Bible would have us do. Consider:

“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. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”Philippians 2:3-8

Just reading this passage again, I am struck by how insane, how alien, this idea is when compared with the humanistic worldview we are bombarded with every day in our culture.

Jesus was equal with God! He was God! Yay equality! I’m sure equality is very, very important in the Trinity, no? God the Father is probably always trying to gain more power and glory to Himself, and Jesus has to struggle to show that He is an equal. Perhaps Jesus held some protests, or maybe created an “International Jesus Day” to remind the world that He is just as equal. Maybe Jesus has to start a new hashtag to remind people to say His name just as much in their prayers as the Father.

Yeah. No. This very image is pretty ridiculous, right? How pathetic would the Trinity be if this was the case? Thankfully, we see something far greater, far more beautiful than a mere system of checks and balances to ensure that all in the group are equal.

Jesus did not strive to advance Himself. He was humble and modest. He made himself nothing. Nothing! He made Himself a servant, and took orders from death—death on a cross! This is humiliating and demeaning! Not equality!

This is because we aren’t to be seeking our own promotion.

Not only should we not consider ourselves better than others, but we shouldn’t even consider ourselves just as good as others.

As Paul points out, we should imitate Jesus, and make ourselves nothing, and the servants of others. We should “value others above [ourselves].”

This is crazy, and yet this is what Jesus, the Son of God, did for us. Try and wrap your mind around that for a second. The most powerful being in existence, the creator of the entire universe…considered you, I, every human individual, as being more valuable than Himself. So valuable in fact, that He was willing to make Himself our servant, suffer torture, and eventually death for us.

This is what we’re supposed to do for our fellow man. Wow. That’s scary. That doesn’t sound very good, does it? Equality sounds much better! I’m okay with not seeing myself as better than other people, but can’t I at least consider no one else as being more important than me?

Nope, we don’t get to do that as Christians. We were bought at the highest possible price, and our allegiance is to Christ, and He calls us to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). This means we are to love as He loved, considering others as more important than ourselves, not seeking to elevate ourselves, but to diminish ourselves to servants.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we walk around with a false humility and belittle ourselves. That would just be another form of pride. The focus is still on ourselves. Rather, what Paul is saying, what Jesus did, is totally abandon the self–forsaking the pursuit of the self, and instead seeking the good of others. In this way, we are to treat others as more important than ourselves–not envying them for being “better” than us, but giving others priority over ourselves.

Perhaps this could even mean physically dying for others, as Jesus did. More likely, it will mean living for others. As Paul described, “Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

This is not where things will end, however. The last shall become first, and that is exactly what was the result of Jesus’ perfect love.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11

So, the battle cry should NOT be equality. We should NOT seek to advance and promote ourselves, but others. We should not be saying, “You are my equal,” but rather, “You are better.” This is something I greatly struggle with. It’s so easy to get caught up in the deception that the world revolves around me, but thinking in such a way isn’t the best way for me to live, never-mind the fact that it is not a good mindset to have when interacting with others.

Think for a moment how drastically our world would change if we all began to live this way. What if we all started to consider others as being more important than ourselves? What if Christians lived this way? What if we at least lived this way among our friends and families? We would be able to experience a taste of the life to come.

 

Stop Making Excuses

Stop Making Excuses

Yes. No. Two simple little words that are so difficult to say. If you’ve paid any attention to politics, you probably know how much politicians struggle to say these two words. Instead, 99.99% of the time, they look to find an excuse and explain away something they said or used to believe. But are we much better?

stop_making_excuses

When someone asks us to do something, or invites us to an event we don’t want to go to, what do we do? Do we just say, “No thanks,” or do we try and make up some excuse for why we can’t go? I don’t know about you, but more often than not, I create an excuse.

Or, we may be more ambiguous with our answers, allowing ourselves to have an escape route out of a situation in case we don’t feel like following through later. We don’t to commit ourselves on one hand, but we also don’t want to offend our friend, coworker, family member, or whomever the case may be, by turning them down. We feel trapped, so we’ll make excuses.

And yet, this is exactly what God condemns:

“Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned” (James 5:12).

Clearly, this is an old problem. Jews in Jesus’ time used to swear by the Earth, which wasn’t as big a deal as swearing by God, and therefore, wasn’t an oath they had to keep. Just like how we make excuses today, we like to have an escape route.

Instead, we should let our yes be yes, and our no be no. If we say we are going to do something, we should. If we can’t or won’t do something , we should just say no.

Of course, the way our culture operates, just saying no often isn’t enough for most people. They want a reason. Anticipating this, we often give a reason for our “no” even before being asked, even if that reason isn’t the real reason. We want to make our refusal seem justified. We need to stop doing this, and simply let our no be no.

Even if we do have a legitimate reason for saying “no” to something, more often than not, we would still be better off keeping that to ourselves for a couple reasons.

 

  1. People won’t believe your reason

 

Since it is so common in our culture to make up excuses for why we can’t do something or go somewhere, it’s likely that many won’t fully believe you when you do have a prior obligation. This is the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” effect.

Because many won’t believe you, it will at the very least make you look like an excuse-maker, and will also likely lead to #2.

 

  1. People will try and talk you out of your decision

 

If you give a reason for why you can’t do something, then that reason becomes vulnerable to scrutiny. People will naturally compare your excuse with their request. Was your excuse good enough to justify turning them down? Or should you have sacrificed to meet their request?

This can all lead to a lot of misunderstanding and potential hurt and dishonesty. It is much better if we simply let our yes be yes, and our no be no, forsaking excuses in general.

Do you find yourself making excuses? Do you struggle to let your yes be yes and your no be no? What do you do to combat this struggle?

 

Why I love doing Laundry, and How You can Too

Why I love doing Laundry, and How You can Too

You may be looking at this title and thinking, love doing laundry“WHAT?! Is she for real?!”

For most of us, laundry is a pain.

A time-wasting task that menial and tedious as they come.

And yet, we have to wear clothes so we have to do laundry.

But yes, I assure you that I am quite serious about the title of this post.

I love doing laundry, and this can be you as well!

Schedule it

First of all, I recommend that you make this inevitable task a part of your automatic daily or weekly schedule. You want to be intentional.

It should be something you don’t even have to think about doing, or ever wonder if you should do it or not that day.

You just do.

What works for me is throwing a load in first thing every morning.

Do what works for you. You will be absolutely amazed at the amount of stress that is relieved when you routinize daily tasks so that procrastination or deliberation is not an option

Pray

Now, this other tip is what I really wanted to talk about, and will  transform your laundry drudgery into something truly sacred…

As you fold each family member’s article of clothing, PRAY FOR THAT PERSON.

  1. Thank God for that person.
  2. Intercede for that person.
  3. Pray a blessing over that person.

What better way to redeem that time than in prayer?

And what better way to be reminded whom to pray for than as you fold their clothes? (Of course, some especially dirty family members may get more prayers than others, but that is okay!)

There is something special about the act of tangibly touching and handling the physical objects that symbolize a person. It makes that prayer seem more REAL.

How many times do we as busy mothers in chaotic households bemoan the fact that we don’t have time to pray or spend quiet time with God?

Maybe, just maybe, mundane tasks such as laundry are a gift to us from God for that very thing.

Just think of the amazing opportunity we are wasting if instead we spend that time complaining and feeling sorry for ourselves! Redeem that time for eternity!

You may also find that as a result of this activity, you will feel more patient and loving towards your family afterwards!

It is very difficult to lovingly fold and pray for someone, then go yell at them or hang onto any bitterness you may have been harboring.

This is so important, I will say it again…

Maybe, just maybe, mundane tasks such as laundry are a gift to us from God to pray for our loved ones and draw near to Him.

So, give it a try! You have nothing to lose except anger and resentment! First, set your laundry time on automatic so you don’t even have to think about it, then use that valuable opportunity for eternity!

You may just find yourself loving doing laundry as well!

If you got value from this post on how to love doing laundry, then feel free to leave a comment or share. 🙂