We have not yet reached the halfway mark of the Giving Up, yet I have the selfish inclination of wanting to give up! Are we done with this yet…this giving up?
How easily I slip back into desiring my own small wants…wanting my own appetites whetted. I question: “Does this really count for anything…this giving up…this losing of one’s self?
Then I remember my smallness in comparison to His Greatness. I’m in the place of wanting the small, but I give it up to remember the enormity of what He gave up for me. (Philippians 2:5-8)
The place of giving up is teaching me humility…valuing others above myself…not looking to my own interests but to the interest of others. (Phil. 2:4)
I’m in no way perfect, I know that… but this giving up brings my deficiencies to the surface and I see them more clearly…face to face…that ugly that is sometimes me!
I let my temper flair; yell at my kids through frustration, and spout off at others in traffic. I allow small inconveniences to influence my reaction and ANNOYED becomes my attitude of choice.
As the annoyance rises, ugly words leave my mouth and I spew onto those around me. Quiet words whisper in my mind: “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”(Phil 4:5)
Gentleness and patience towards the slow driver blocking my way.
Gentleness and love towards those impressionable souls God entrusted to my care.
Gentleness and kindness even towards that cashier who is not “cashiering” me fast enough!!!
Give up the small to learn the greater way: humility…valuing others above myself.
As I go through this giving up, I’m learning it does matter…it does make a difference.
These small “giving up’s” take my focus off me, my desires, my wants and move me from what I want to what He wants for me.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. ~ Phil. 4:8-9(MSG)