To be able to put someone else first, you must recognize it's not all about you! I once read an article about Tim Tebow. A homeschool kid that played football (for the Florida Gators), so I naturally took an interest in him. The article stated that his parents never let him read a newspaper article about himself. He was praise worthy, a Heisman winner. But they didn't want him to get too full of himself. I liked that. Okay, if you make the paper, it is kinda fun! But I get where they were coming from. He was getting a lot of attention, and they wanted to keep him grounded. Words of praise have much more impact when they come out of someone else's mouth, not your own. That's humility. It's a struggle. We naturally want to think about #1!! Call it self preservation.
Thinking about someone else doesn't mean you have to go without three squares, or forgo paying the rent. No. Fulfill your responsibilities! What is does mean is that you should realize, it's not all about you! There is always someone who has it worse off. I was mulling things over with a friend who suffers from depression. She told me what she has come to learn is that when she helps someone else, she feels better about her own situation. Have you worked at a soup kitchen? Have you ever given school supplies out in a low income neighborhood? Participated in a fundraiser for a sick friend or family member? How did you feel after? I know how I feel. I feel good! I feel like I've accomplished something! It can be a small thing like clearing your schedule for the afternoon to sit with a friend in a hospital room. You may not have any idea of the impact it had on the other person, but I guarantee it did. The blessing comes when someone says, "Thank you! (with tears in their eyes) It means so much to me to know how much you care!" Because really, what else matters? All any of us want is to know that someone else cares about us. So show someone!
Let me close with sharing the story of a friend of mine. My friends daughter, Bryce has Neurofibromatosis (nf1). She has a large plexiform type neurofibroma in her right thigh and abdomen. (In layman's terms, she has a HUGE tumor on her upper thigh!) She has been dealing with chronic pain for over five years. On September 21 she had this large mass debulked in Chicago at Children's Memorial Hospital. The surgery was risky and took all day. The surgeon, Dr. Mckay Mckinnon is experienced in removing these tumors with great success at reducing pain and them not growing back. No surgeons in Michigan wanted to attempt the surgery saying it is too risky that these tumors bleed a lot during surgery and she may lose the use of her right leg. Brenda battled insurance companies, and many times we would have long conversations where she had some serious questions for God. Everyday life seemed to be a struggle, and Bryce needed constant attention. The chronic pain kept her from attending school. If anyone had reason to fall victim to a pity party, it was Brenda! But she didn't. Oh sure, she had her moments. She needed a shoulder, a prayer, someone to go out to coffee with and listen. But if one of her friends needed something, she'd be there! She'd be the first to offer to help me clean my house. She came over and painted my living room with me. She'd always make sure to ask about how my family was doing. She's supportive of her friends. And in doing so, she reflects Christ. She is humble and other oriented.
|My dear friend Brenda!|
"Tell me how much you know of the sufferings of your fellowmen and I will tell you how much you have loved them." - Helmut Thielicke