The Remedy for “Me First”

Today was a great December day. It looks like Christmas decorations are popping up around the neighborhood and there are only 24 shopping days until Christmas. Besides black Friday, the best day to Christmas shop is on December 24th. That has usually been my routine in the past.

As I was walking past my wheelchair today, I realized that it has been a couple of weeks since I last used it. That seems to be a good indicator of progress and I am doing better adapting to getting things from the kitchen with my walker with the help of a basket or tray attached to it. I returned to the fitness center for a workout and overall it went pretty good. Tomorrow is my next scheduled appointment with my trainer.

Thinking back to a year ago at the Northern Colorado Rehab. Hospital, one of the groups that we connected with the was the housekeeping crew. I make reference to them in my devotional below, so I thought I would include a picture of this dedicated group.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:9,10

We live in a competitive society. We enjoy watching competitive events, whether sports or Dancing with the Stars. Regardless of how much our modern society tries to mitigate the “winners” and “losers” not very many are truly fooled. I recall many years ago Jeannette Clift-George who played the part of Corrie ten Boom in the movie “The Hiding Place” was nominated for an Academy Award. When she lost, someone consoled her with the words, “don’t worry honey we are all winners.” She says she wanted to say, “then why is everyone clapping for the actor with the Oscar?!”

Paul has just finished challenging believers about the importance of them knowing and using their spiritual gift. He let’s them know we are all gifted but in different ways. He then lists several priorities that are to guide the life of the believer. The ones above in Romans 12:,9,10 are just a few. However these are a good start of admonitions that are counter to the “me first” mentality that can be observed in those even older than two years old.

When love is genuine, it is not used as a source of manipulation or a way to control another person. Genuine love puts others first. That is what Christ modeled and what Paul described in Philippians chapter 2:6,7 “…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant…”

When we “hate evil and hold fast to what is good”, it motivates us to have compassion on people and to stand for justice. Since some of the scandals involving professional football players and domestic violence were in the headlines at the beginning of the season, I have noticed the commercials featuring players with the theme, “no more….” This is an expression of Paul’s words. Don’t ignore, don’t turn your back, take a stand.

The final one that really catches my attention is “outdo one another in showing honor.”  It is natural for us to show honor to those of status or rank in society. While this is appropriate in the context, it is important to demonstrate respect for and honor the dignity of every person. Honor is not just for those in the limelight, but for those in the shadows as well. Paul said, “But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it…”  (1 Corinthians 12:24)

This past summer when I was part of presenting a tribute from the Colorado House to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital, I intentionally recognize the valuable work of the housekeepers along with the doctors, therapists and executives. I had several of them thank me later for that recognition.

There is no greater remedy to “me first” than genuine love, loving good, hating evil and attempting to outdo each other in showing honor.