February 22, 2021
Measuring Up or Pouring Out
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“however [Jesus] emptied himself, by taking the type of a servant, …” Philippians 2:7a (ESV)
Mother, what are you doing?” my teenage daughter requested in amusement, glancing over my shoulder. I rapidly double-tapped the picture, embarrassed she had seen.
What was I doing? I had zoomed in on a photograph of my associates and me, attempting to get a greater look — not at our faces, however our hips. Am I the largest one? I had questioned. I expanded the picture and leaned in, analyzing whether or not anybody else’s hips have been as vast as mine.
“Uh … simply some photographs from final night time,” I mentioned casually to my daughter, then modified the topic. I closed my telephone, however I knew that when she left the room, I’d be tempted to proceed my comparability evaluation of the picture.
It’s fascinating that we name comparability a “recreation,” as a result of I’m fairly certain Devil thinks of it as a foolproof technique to distract and divide us. These ladies within the picture are a few of my closest associates and best supporters. However once I obsess over measuring myself towards them, I solely need to draw back. I both shrink again, not wanting my flaws to be seen, or I distance myself, not desirous to be outdone. Each methods, my enemy wins.
I really like that the disciples struggled with comparability, not simply because I can relate, however as a result of as I examine their “who’s the best?” arguments, I get to lean in and listen to Jesus’ response. Every time it’s the identical. The disciples elbow previous one another, vying for “best disciple” standing and making it apparent that they crave a solution for a similar query I’ve: How do I measure up? And as a substitute of answering it, Jesus repeatedly presents them a greater one: How can I empty myself and serve?
There’s a Kingdom, Jesus desires them to know, the place measuring up isn’t what makes you nice. Emptying your self in humility and placing others first does.
If there have been a measuring cup stuffed with all of your items, potential and sources, your enemy would level to the traces and incite you to repeatedly put your cup subsequent to another person’s. However Jesus would level to the spout. He invitations you to take a position what’s inside your cup to serve others and pour your self out — like He did.
If Jesus had a measuring cup, it might be bigger than the universe and brimming full. His price is past evaluate, but He didn’t concern Himself with proving it. As a substitute, He “… emptied himself, by taking the type of a servant, … turning into obedient to the purpose of dying, even dying on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8, ESV). For our sakes, Jesus took His measuring cup and turned it the other way up. With probably the most extravagant humility the world has ever recognized, He “… poured out his soul to dying …” (Isaiah 53:12, ESV). And since He did so, God lifted Him up and gave Him “the identify that’s above each identify” (Philippians 2:9b).
After we pursue greatness within the Kingdom, we escape the measure-up mindset of the world.
Buddy, are you exhausted by the countless evaluating? Are you bored with measuring your self towards each buddy, cousin or random stranger? Are you sick of zooming in on photographs, scrutinizing your pals’ hips?
How do I measure up? is the fallacious query. Our Jesus has taught us a greater one. One which results in Kingdom greatness!
After I enter a room full of individuals and ask, How can I pour myself out? my consideration naturally turns to the spout, not the traces. My measuring cup’s contents tackle new goal if I’m in search of methods to serve, and protecting my distance is senseless if I’m on the point of pour. However right here’s the perfect half: After I tip my cup to at least one aspect, the traces turn into irrelevant. They don’t matter anymore — and this units me free.
If Jesus had a photograph with His disciples, I believe He would lean in and study it intently, however to not measure and evaluate. He’d be smiling, remembering how He had invested in every of their lives. He liked them. He knew them personally. He emptied Himself to serve every one. That’s the form of buddy I need to be.
Pricey God, I need to pursue Kingdom greatness by in search of methods to humble myself and serve. In Jesus’ Title, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from egocentric ambition or conceit, however in humility depend others extra vital than yourselves.” (ESV)
Be a part of Shannon Popkin for a research of the conversations Jesus had with individuals who — like us — have been evaluating in Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World. Learn the way you can also alternate measure-up fears and get-ahead pride for me-free dwelling. Wish to research the ebook with a gaggle, in individual or nearly? Pre-order the Comparison Girl Leader’s Kit, together with video periods from Shannon herself, accessible March 30!
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who have you ever been measuring your self towards? What’s a technique you would pour your self out, and the way would possibly this set you free?
© 2021 by Shannon Popkin. All rights reserved.