I often find myself thinking of that verse that says that we should put others ahead of ourselves. For many years, I thought of it mostly in how we respond to others behaving badly. You know, to react in a way that helps them to heal or change or be better at whatever might be causing the issue.
Of late, I have been thinking about this quite a bit. How can I truly put others before myself? I heard one person use modesty as a way to put others ahead of ourselves. We don't dress to get attention. We dress so that others are comfortable around you or not stumbling over you. That made so much sense to me. What a simple way to honor others.
Another way we can do this is through manners. We can act in such a way as to bring dignity and honor to all of the hearers. Let your speech be seasoned with salt and all.
One big way we can put others before ourselves is by not being offended when they don't meet our needs the way we want them met. I had a real desire to have an intimate relationship with someone I loved and I prayed fervently about it. I asked God to open up some thing for us to have in common. He did. I started sending her books. Then I started talking to her about them. All the while, we were developing a friendship, I silenced my internal needs being met or my childhood being apologized for. I wanted to love her. I wanted her to be healed by Jesus. That meant I had to lay aside my own desires and just find common ground to plant in. It worked. It worked beautifully. To God be the glory.
Keep your eyes open to how you can put others ahead of yourself in the simplest of ways. God's kindness leads to repentance. That leads to life.
Just so I don't get any email, I don't condone smoking. They used to tell people that it cleared out the lungs.