Wednesday, February 26, 2014
So I see a homeless dude scarfing something out of a can like he hadn't eaten in forever and I ask Nikki "give me a 5 please, I'm going to grab a drink and get this guy some cookies." She let me know all she had was change and the drink was a stretch, then finds some random ones in her wallet she swore weren't there before. So I head into the store and grab my drink and go up to the counter and grab some of the fresh baked cookies. The guy at the counter recognizes me from something I did for him in the past and tells me "the cookies are on me tonight" without any mention of what they were for. I then take them out to the homeless dude who lights up and says "how did you know I had a sweet tooth", grinning so big literally showing that single tooth (which is kind of odd as Nikki said "make sure not to get macadamia nut cookies", not even knowing the dude was literally toothless.) One of those moments you only get when you show a little love and expect nothing in return.
Monday, February 24, 2014
One of my favorite movies has been "There Will Be Blood" as the worst of me identified with Daniel Plainview. In the movie he says the following lines that I told myself I really related to:
"I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people. There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I want to earn enough money I can get away from everyone. I see the worst in people. I don't need to look past seeing them to get all I need. I've built up my hatreds over the years, little by little."
The problem is, this sort of competition is very un-Christ-like. Actually, this is downright evil. But I could sadly feel I identified with that and actually relished in in such a thought in an oddly perverse manner.
I had operated like this for years in my career. You could find me with a book studying for the latest certification I was after, etc. so I could prove I was more worthy than those around me and when I’d climbed to the top of the pile, I’d jump to a bigger one. I even did this in other areas of my life including family, social, and even church circles. It was a disaster because I saw everyone else as someone to be better than and their accomplishments were not things to be happy about, but something to strive beyond. My relationships never grew correctly with those I saw as competitors and I lost lots of opportunities to truly show the love of Christ.
So, are you measuring yourself to others? Do you find yourself being disappointed when others experience successes, or do you become covetous of their advancement? Do you constantly try and point out why you are more worthy of something than others, or how much more you are doing than someone else? These questions are not asked judgmentally, but in the spirit of personal knowledge as I am guilty of them all. If you do these too, perhaps take a moment to read and pray on the following article: Competing Against Other Christian’s is it Wise?
In the article the author states the following which is rather humbling “...we are to measure ourselves against God not other Christian’s. If we measure ourselves against each other we become high-minded, arrogant, prideful and hurtful to others. But if we measure ourselves against our LORD Jesus, we see ourselves impotent, weak, needy, and thankful of His blessings.”
It’s so wonderful to feel the grip of the competitive drive rooted in my own insecurity and selfishness that ruled my life and ruined relationships for so long being loosened dramatically recently and I hope and pray for others struggling with the same to start experiencing freedom too!