How does one take seriously the admonition to consider others better than oneself? Or as Paul puts it in his letter to Rome …
9Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.Romans 12:9-10 TPT
Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another!
That is quite a challenge. As I read Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, I don’t hear that they did this well. Rather, he admonishes them for acting like people who aren’t in partnership with Jesus. Listen to the questions Paul asks these first century believers.
3for you are living your lives dominated by the mind-set of the flesh. Ask yourselves: Is there jealousy among you? Do you compare yourselves with others? Do you quarrel like children and end up taking sides? If so, this proves that you are living your lives centered on yourselves, dominated by the mind-set of the flesh, and behaving like unbelievers.1 Corinthians 3:3
Today, I ask you to consider these questions for yourself. It is not comfortable, but it is necessary. Are these practices evident in my life? Am I jealous of others? Comparing myself with someone else? Am I quarreling with someone – like my grandchildren quarrel – taking sides? If so, then I am living a life centered on myself.
I am called to more!
Rather, I want to reflect the kind of life Paul encourages in his letter to Rome –
Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.
What would change today if you looked for ways to outdo yourself in loving and respecting others, especially those with whom you disagree? If we all did this wholeheartedly, we just might change the world because, not only is this counter-cultural, it is truly WISE!