Outdo one another in showing honor

I have a confession. I am self-righteous. It pains me to say this out loud, but it was something that hit me over the head pretty hard in 2013. You see, I get the C.S. Lewis quote backwards. He said “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” I’ve always done the former while still making myself the focus of the conversation, just in a self-deprecating way in order to “put others first”. You can guess how that has worked out for me.

Fifteen years ago, as I started my career, I was as arrogant as they come – ready to take over the world (cue Pinky and the Brain theme) – goal to be a millionaire by 30, the whole works. Then I realized how ridiculous I sounded and God worked his magic on me to remind me that I needed Him a lot more than He needed me. But I pretty much stopped there. I didn’t quite pull the rest of the world into the conversation. I needed God, but I was still on an island when it came to those around me. We were back to other people needing me a lot more than I needed them (or so I thought).

So here’s my goal for 2014 …

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. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21 (ESV)