This is the continuation of an earlier post about a Bible study in which I’m facilitating and participating.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but to the interests of others.
~ Philippians 2:2-4
The Comparison Trap: Week Four, Day Two… Some of my reminders and my takeaways from the daily devotional include:
Sandra Stanley opens today’s devotional with a blurb her husband, Andy, shared in his book Enemies of the Heart. Sandra and Andy had sons who loved baseball, and they were pitchers. Andy shares:
I always make a point of tracking down the other pitcher and telling him what a great job he did. And when I can figure out whose son he is, I congratulate the parents, too. It’s a habit that keeps my heart free and clear. Reaching out my hand to shake the hand of another father whose son out-pitched mine releases all that negative energy and puts everything back into perspective.
I’ve learned a lot from my daughter over the years. SHE used to do this when she was a competitive gymnast. I didn’t tell her to do it. She just started doing it. I was awed when I saw it for the first time.
She wasn’t always a star gymnast. There were many years where she’d stand on the floor far from the podium during the awards ceremony. Those were the hard years… it was hard to see your baby girl not “win,” and not walk away with a gold, silver or bronze medal to cherish on the drive home. That started to change, though.
As she started to head into her teen years, we got to see her on the podium. We also got to see her stand at the top many times as a lots-of-years, all-around state champion. Whether she was fifth, second or first, she’d always reach out to congratulate those around her for their job well done. It would have been so easy for her to focus on her success or her frustration (when she didn’t do as she had hoped), but she always made it a point to celebrate the success of those around her.
I learned a lot from watching my little girl
think of others and celebrate their success.
She taught me a lot.
Because of her, I started to congratulate the parents of her fellow competitors from other teams. It was weird to do so at first, but I knew how hard their daughters worked, because I knew how hard my daughter worked. I knew how proud those parents were of their daughters, because I knew how proud I was of my daughter.
“There’s something powerful and liberating about celebrating the success of other people,” says Sandra.
Yes, there is. There are people around you and around me everyday who deserve and desire to be celebrated, especially because they don’t hear it often enough in this critical world.
Out of humility, let’s offer them the hope which is found in recognizing them and considering their interests and successes!