Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2 NIV).
Friend to Friend
One of the things we’ve always done at dinnertime as a family is a daily recap. Simple stuff: we talk through the things that happened that day. When my kids were in elementary school, one of the first things they talked about was who got to be the line leader that day. It was a pretty big deal, especially to young Smiths who really, really loved being the line leader. (I don’t know where they get that . . .)
Okay, I need to be honest here. I like to be the leader. Following is not necessarily my strong suit. I like to be in charge and in control. Especially on the road. If you and I have somewhere to go together, you might just want to let me drive because I tend to freak out in the passenger seat. I wonder why the invisible brake on my side never works, even when I pump it. I get frustrated with the guy in the passing lane who drives ten miles an hour below the speed limit and does not pass anybody. It’s the PASSING lane, people, therefore, pass! Clearly no one can drive as well as I can . . .
Hot messes. All of us! Especially me.
We get overly concerned with blue ribbons and lead positions.
Lord, forgive us.
Jesus showed us a better way to get where we need to go.
He told His disciples to follow Him. To stop doing their own things and to do His thing.
These instructions were meant for you and me as well. Jesus wants us to do what He did—to love like He loved, to lead like He led. And He led by serving others. By humbling Himself sacrificially. He was the greatest but treated others as if they were.
In her book Love Story, songwriter and author Nichole Nordeman puts it this way. “Jesus sort of topples the model of traditional leadership. He starts at the bottom. First things first. Let’s get those feet washed. This is how Jesus leads. And it’s why marriages and corporations and ministries thrive under his model of servant leadership. Stooping, not looming. Tending, not monitoring.”
I know this.
I really do.
I want this.
I want this for me, and I want this for my family. I want this for you. I want to live this type of radical life that showcases Jesus and pushes His fame to the forefront. Not only on the good days, but also on the bad days. Not only in the comfortable times, but also in the uncomfortable, fiery times. Don’t you?
I’m thankful that God convicts my heart when I get bossy, start comparing, run ahead of God, or get caught up in self-centered pursuits. His Spirit reminds me that my flesh needs to be put down because I am bound to Christ, and He is my Master. The Spirit of God reminds me that I am not to live as a slave to sin, but to live as a slave to righteousness (Romans 5).
When Jesus becomes our focus, we step to the center of God’s will.
Today, for me, this probably means I will do more praying than social media posting or news watching. And it also means that when that certain mom bends my ear about the awesome accomplishments of her darling daughter, I will smile, share in her joy, and not respond with, “Well, my daughter just…”
Things go better for me when I choose humility, make a big deal about God’s greatness, and follow His lead by lovingly serving the people in my life. When I live by the instructions that Paul gave to the church of Ephesus, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV).
My peace is greater when I look to the needs of others instead of my own, when I humble myself before our awesome Lord and beg for Him to be magnified in my words, thoughts, efforts, and decisions.
Jesus is the line leader.
I’m just a girl in line who needs to keep her eyes fixed on the Guy up front.
Dear Lord, Please lead me. Take the wheel. Take the whole car! Take my life. No more pushing to the front of the line for me. I want You, Jesus. I want more of You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What area of your life could benefit from an increase of humility and gentleness?
Read Ephesians 4. Write out verse 2 then write down the initials of a few people you need to apply this with. Pray for the Lord to help you … and pray for those people.
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion is an excerpt of Gwen’s book, I Want It ALL.
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