Mike’s Musings …       

Observing Others

   Admittedly, I was in pain the other day when I arrived for my PT appointment. But when I arrived and sat in the waiting room, a most humbling event occurred. Assisted by her medical helper, a woman came in with a gait belt around her upper body and was using a walker. Her steps were slow and deliberate, each one silently expressing severe pain for this lady. My therapist took me back for my time, and so I didn’t notice this lady until I was ready to leave. She was receiving a mode of therapy that looked more painful than the pain they were endeavoring to alleviate. Still, she said nothing. I wished her well and heard her reply, “And you as well.”

   Wow! How frequently do we think we’re suffering the most, or we’re the most oppressed, or the most abused, or the most rejected, etc.? And then we are face to face with someone much worse off than we are, and they say something to encourage us!

   While there are situations where attention is rightly demanded, (for example, the teacher has the right to demand the attention of the students, the parent has the right to demand the attention of the child, the judge has the right to demand the attention of the court), there are situations where individuals demand attention of which they are not worthy. Please carefully read 2 Corinthians 10, Paul’s self-defense of his preaching Christ and Him crucified. He could have boasted of his abilities but refused to do so. Further, he rebuked those who would claim to have equal or superior authority than himself. Note what he says: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (vs. 10) Yet, because of our “desire for attention” we DO compare ourselves with ourselves, and Paul said it isn’t wise! At the end of the chapter, Paul states plainly, “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”

   I muse on the reality that all of us could be worse than we are. Just as surely, all of us could be better than we are. And I’m speaking primarily regarding our SPIRITUAL well-being! Have we room for improvement? Yes, in every aspect of our service to God, there is room for improvement in every one of us. We serve God! Christ is our example. Will anyone ever be as great as they are? Then instead of thinking we merit all the attention, let’s be humbled by the reality of our need to HELP one another in our growth within the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then, we’ll notice we are no better or no worse than others in our service: we’re simply CARING about each other, thus “building up one another in the most holy faith.” (Jude 20)