Today I read this out of Philippians 2:3 “ Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” This is from my little King James Bible which explains the use of the word vainglory. I pretty much figured what it meant but my dictionary said: Inordinate pride in oneself or one’s achievements; excessive vanity.
I’ve been there. I am good about not totally puffing myself up over someone, but I’ll admit there are times when I am a little “over” something a co-worker might say or do and want to give them a little attitude. I rarely do, but it is a struggle at times, and I might blab it to my bestie which is really only a hair away from actually telling the other person to get over themselves. I have learned recently that it is I who needs to get over myself. It isn’t that I am wrong in my feeling that someone should step off, it is that God simply doesn’t want me to reflect this behavior because frankly that is not walking in love. It stinks. Also I have not been put in my position to be their little behavior monitor. I am not a little god who was put on this earth to tell others off. Not easy for a girl raised predomintately in the east coast!!! Just sayin’.
When I first started working at the radio station, I worked with a lovely woman named Laurie. She was hysterical! I don’t remember how the song evolved but somehow Laurie started singing “and they’ll know we are Christians by our breath.” I can still hear it.
This is actually my number 8. I’ll explain.
Thank you to Lori from Living Out Loud for the chalkboard backgrounds
The first event I went to when I started working at the radio station was a Women of Faith conference. I was over the moon with delight because I had always wanted to go to one as a former single mom, I simply had never been able to afford such a treat. I really felt the Lord was blessing me with this opportunity. We would get to hear the speakers and also work to share the love of God with the women there.
First of all, I was enthralled by all the women at the event. In my limited experiences around Christians, I had never had the opportunity to see so many in one location. Although I had been a Christian for much of my life, I had never been to concerts, conferences or anything beyond church other than a retreat. This was all new and I revelled in it!
That is until I was in line to get a fancy pants coffee. Things fell flat there. Apparently there was something wrong with the machine in the coffee kiosk. They had coffee still but could no longer make esspressos, lattes, or whatever jewels the women were in line for. I didn’t care, I’d go with cream and sugar -I am a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee regular gal. In front of me however there were several women that simply lost it. I kid you not, they went OFF! I was stunned, embarrassed and sad. I was embarrassed because there was no doubt that these women were in this huge center for the convention. I was sad because I didn’t know if the workers knew Jesus or not, but I knew they weren’t seeing him at the moment. What they were seeing was some high-end hissy fitting. I was hurt that their encounter with a Christian that day was going to be a story of lost control and another jerky customer who now had a lable of being a Christian (as a former waitress and server I recalled all the nasty customers I have had and the sting they leave behind). I also was stunned because of my expectations, I had never been around so many Christians and I too was like “What in the world? I know we ladies have our moments, but we are at a Christian conference. Shouldn’t we TRY to show some love?” The expectations were on me, I expected that Christians should behave especially when in a large pack (yep using pack on purpose). I of course went out of my way to be extra nice in an attempt to buff out the hissy ladies.
When I say they will know we are Christians by our breath, I am not thinking stinky ole shabby breath, I’m thinking, because we are always getting in someone’s face. If we are going to do that, it would be lovely if we could just be lovely.
Please know I am NOT getting on a high horse here. I was very young in mind as a Christian and had spent many years on the receiving end of barbs which is why I had walked away from Christians (not Christ) in my 20s and 30s. I was delighted to be at this conference and was looking forward to being around these strong Christian women. I get that their humanity was showing and that no one is perfect, but shouldn’t we try a little harder? Now me? I can get in a face! In fact, I have a Christian window sticker on my car to keep me in line. I know my weakness. As I’ve said, I am still working on NOT complaining to my bestie and instead just giving it to God and accepting an opportunity to show love in spite of whether things are fair or not. I think I have mastered step one (the breath thing) now step two…recounting every detail of someone ticking me off.
How about you? Learning anything new or relearning anything old?