Monday, March 17, 2014

Do Late Traffic Mergers Bug You?

Photo by audi-inspiration (Flickr)
A highway sign tells me to merge into the next lane because my lane is ending. Within a short time, I merge, while several drivers remain in that lane. I see their blinkers, but I refuse to let them in. I merged on time; therefore, I have the right to ignore them (and in a way, punish them) for waiting until the last minute. They should have merged sooner – behind me. Then I justify my selfish thoughts by believing my need to get home is more urgent then theirs.

Embarrassingly, even when I’m not behind the wheel, most of the time my attitudes are driven by the way I want to be treated. It’s not that I’m not a great person to hang out with; but I’m a whole lot more agreeable when I get my way or when my needs are being met.

John 13:34 (New American Standard Bible)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Jesus modeled this best. While living on this earth, He never exalted Himself or demanded His rights above others, when He had every right to do so. Instead, He cared more about those around Him than He did Himself.

When we put the needs of others ahead of our own – or even better – when we go further and seek to protect another’s rights (such as the preborn, or victims of bullying), we are demonstrating God’s love that is in us. And by doing so, we will also be spending less time worrying how unfair life is.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for my selfishness! As I spend time in Your Word (and in Your presence), please continue to change my heart. I desire to love others with the same kind of love You consistently show me.

This week’s goal:
As I meditate on (with the intent to memorize) this week’s verse, I will ask the Holy Spirit to show me when I’m about to put my needs ahead of someone else’s. In those instances, I will ask God to show me how to show love by yielding my rights and desires.

Let’s discuss practical ways we can live out John 13:34:

  • What would it cost you to give up your rights (in order to show Christlike love) just once this week? How much would you gain?
  • What example(s) in the Bible helps you to see God’s love in an active way?
  • In what ways has Jesus shown His love to you, personally?
  • List at least one way you can love someone at home, school or work this week with the same kind of love Jesus has shown you.
If anyone would like me to send them a copy of this verse (any translation) so you can make a SMC (Scripture Memory Card), let me know. Be sure to subscribe to the post via email so I can get it to you!

It's amazing how many opportunities present themselves to show Christ's love! Meditating on this verse, throughout the day, will likely remind me to let someone go ahead of me in the grocery line, or maybe (while driving) even allow the late merger in!

(I would love to hear from you. You can  let me know what you think about the post and/or respond to any of the bullet points above. Post your comments using the comment link. See "The Method" located on the sidebar for instructions on how to post comments)


Note: Memorizing Scripture Blog (for anyone) and the Coffee with Sheryl blog (for ladies) both have the Current Goals tab located under the blogs' headers. "Current Goals" offers several practical links including: being a better spouse or parent, choosing better eating and exercising habits, overcoming addictions, etc. The Immediate Goals link (for setting task-related goals) is only available at the Coffee with Sheryl Blog

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4 comments:

  1. Excellent post Sheryl! Okay, here's my answers.

    "What would it cost you to give up your rights (in order to show Christlike love) just once this week? How much would you gain?"

    I really like this question. Actually, I think this would cost some of my pride. Pride tokens if you will. If I surrender my pride tokens, I gain the Grace of God.

    "What example(s) in the Bible helps you to see God’s love in an active way?"

    Jesus going with the soldiers who came to arrest Him. He didn't assert His rights. He is God; He most certainly has rights. He let them do their evil and treat Him horribly disrespectful and beat Him beyond human recognition. He could have called 10,000 angels to save Him. The disciples were prepared to fight for Him. Peter cut off the ear of one of the soldiers; but Jesus picked up the soldiers ear and put his ear back on and healed him. Jesus laid down His rights even to the point of giving His life on the cross for us (and those who abused and killed Him).

    "In what ways has Jesus shown His love to you, personally?"

    There are so many ways. Such personal ways. I am amazed that He continues to put up with me.

    "List at least one way you can love someone at home, school or work this week with the same kind of love Jesus has shown you."

    Hmmm...this is tough Sheryl. This sounds like an action plan to turn in pride tokens. What are you thinking? Lol

    I tell you what. I will ask God to help me with this question, okay? But this is something I sincerely try to do daily. But it requires really keeping my focus on Jesus to pull it off. I can't do this on my own. And I frequently fail in my attempts to try. But I can allow Him to love through me. As I am surrendered to Him. It is my struggle to keep focused on Him and surrendered to Him that is my biggest hindrance. I seem to get easily distracted and look at my wounds which I don't think I would even notice if I were really looking at Him. i.e., I don't think Stephen felt the pain from the stoning. I think he was so focused on Jesus. I could be wrong. But I have just always believed that he didn't feel his stoning. I have always wanted to be like Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Barbara, I was finishing up my comment on your blog (His Way) on your wonderful post, "When You have Been Marginalized", when I realized you have just finished commenting on this post - on both my blogs! Thank you.

    You really went all out. I never expected anyone to answer all of the questions. lol
    You really go the extra mile in support and encouragement. I love the answers you shared.

    Just as I mentioned in my comment on your blog, I admire your passion for Christ, Barbara! I know God sees your heart. He will complete the work He has begun in you, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. If anyone would like me to send them a copy of this verse (any translation) so you can make a SMC (Scripture Memory Card), let me know. Be sure to subscribe to the post via email so I can get it to you!

    It's amazing how many opportunities present themselves to show Christ's love! Meditating on this verse, throughout the day, will likely remind me to let someone go ahead of me in the grocery line, or maybe (while driving) even allow the late merger in!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You know, speaking of the late mergers...I know I have frequently been one of them....(sorry). I was in a hurry! Lol or sometimes just spacing out. But I was always so thankful and (baffled) that there always seemed to be some nice, compassionate, and forgiving person who would make room for me. It really is those acts of kindness from total strangers who have nothing to gain (by earthly standards) for their kindness to a stranger that melts my heart. I never take that lightly when someone allows me in their lane. But ironically, it does anger me when I do follow the procedure and change lanes when I am supposed to and I see others not merging and passing me up. I often have thought to myself "if they think I'm letting them in they have another thing coming! I really think I feel kind of like I am being used by them and feel insulted. But many times....when their road starts to end, I find my heart remembering the kindness others have shown me when I didn't deserve it and very graciously made room for me to move in their line ahead of them. Then I do what I swore in my heart I would not do...and I make room for them, (but sometimes not). I apparently am very hypocritical. This is not really how I enjoy seeing myself. Thanks Sheryl! :P

    ReplyDelete

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