Tuesday, March 25, 2008

~How Much Is Enough?~

The Sunny-Side-Up Car
Susanne Scheppmann

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)

I received a rude hand gesture as I was driving, twice in one day. “What in the world?” I thought. I am a careful and considerate driver, and thought I was driving just fine. I could not remember the last time I had angered another driver to that extent. Today, it happened not once but twice, and I couldn’t figure out why.

Then just a few blocks from home, a woman in a sporty yellow convertible raced by me, honking obnoxiously and glaring at me. Finally, it began to dawn on me why this was happening. I usually drive a shiny SUV. Today, I was tooling around in our old car with very faded paint and eggs splattered across it. A few weeks ago, someone had thrown eggs at the car as a prank, and by the time we discovered it, the egg had adhered permanently. We scrubbed and scraped but in the heat of the Nevada desert, the eggs had baked into the paint.

Then an “ah-ha” thought popped into my mind. People were judging my driving skills and me, by my sunny-side-up egged car. Their attitudes became aggressive. They felt they needed to put me in “my place.” Their angry actions told me, “Get that thing off the road. Don’t you know how to drive, woman?” I suspect this was because my car looked like a disaster.

Sadly, I know I have misjudged, misinterpreted, and misunderstood other people because they look and act differently than I do. Unfortunately, sometimes I inspect the outside and never delve beyond the exterior of the person.

However, today’s key verse instructs us differently— to consider others better than ourselves. In addition, Romans 12:16 advises, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (NIV)

I guess I am thankful for my sunny-side-up egged car. Every time I turn the key in the ignition, I’ll be reminded that appearances do not matter.

I know there are times when I've judged someone by his or her outward appearance or even by what I've been told or think. I want to be reminded that we are all God's children. I want to have the grace to love unconditionally as God does.

Also in reading Philippians 2:1-11. We should note how “our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (vs. 5).

Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (NIV)

Zechariah 7:10, “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” (NIV)

Lately there are circumstances that have arisen where I feel like I'm being judged or torn down. It is very hurtful and I tend to pull away when all is said and done. I want to have the grace to walk away in these circumstances. I want to strive to do my best and not allow this negativity in my life and in my daily walk.

Easter was just a few days ago. Jesus died on the cross for my sins so that I may have eternal life. All I have to do is confess my sins and believe. The Father remembers them no more.

Romans 8: 1- 4

"1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit."

~Striving to be like Christ~

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