The Beauty of Otherly

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. – (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV)

In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. – (Philippians 2:3-4, ERV)

Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first. – (Philippians 2:3-4, VOICE)

 

An “otherly” approach brings beauty far greater than anything that comes from simply looking out for oneself. This weekend, I have witnessed two wonderful examples of such love in action. First, my sister has been working tirelessly to fight the insurance battle to orchestrate in-home therapy for our mom. She has been loving mom well, and fighting on her behalf. The fruit of all of Megan’s labor has finally come to fruition, as Mom’s evaluation and step one of in-home therapy will take place on Monday! Second, our trip out to this part of the country has been for the sole intent and purpose for my husband to see his father and let him know he is valued and loved. Mark’s love for his dad is not dependent on their history together, but rather on knowing how important it is to look beyond himself and simply choose to love. Additionally, he wanted his dad to have one more chance to see his grandson and daughter-in-law, along with his son. We had a great day visiting with each other, and Mark is able to go back home knowing that he has cared well and extended love as he is called to do. May we ever choose to have an “otherly” approach, so that we may care well for the lives of those around us with humility.

 

May all that we do, 09141912302527739590534708850.jpg

Be rooted in love;

With others in mind,

Lives valued above.

Held higher than pride,

In humility;

Love without limits,

For in Christ, we’re free.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to show us what it means to prefer others and to love with others in mind. Thank You for a love so selfless that He laid down His very life for us. Forgive us for the times that we get caught up in ourselves and neglect to look beyond at the needs around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would love as You love and without pride or selfish ambition, would simply love others well. Show us how to love like You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to share the beauty of Your “otherly” love with the world. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34

The Look of His Love

“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” – (Mark 12:30-31)

The solution to our struggles, always seem to return to being rooted in love.  When our character is assaulted with false accusations, or our integrity questioned without reason, we can grow frustrated and defensive, or we can choose to love anyway.  Human nature causes our head and heart to hold out for an equally hurtful response, yet the still small voice within, whispers, “Love.”  Though it may take swallowing some of our own righteous wrath to choose to love, to do so, is that which we are called to do.  Often, it is through our responding in love, that the accusations are disproven and our integrity is clearly upheld.  Responding in love, removes the claws, from those with ill intentions.

This is not to say that we are always meant to face the fire, as there are times when He calls us to retreat and stick to praying for those who persecute.  God is gracious and kind, and grants wisdom as to when and what we are to do.  If our focus is on loving Him and loving others, we will be walking in obedience to what He is asking of us.

When words are like weapons,The Look of Love 2

and they puncture the heart;

seek He who is loving,

to heal and grant fresh start.

Respond not in anger,

words can’t be taken back;

go straight to the Father,

when we’re under attack.

He alone is our peace,

our place of perfect rest;

our anchor through the storms,

the One who loves us best.

Let all of our focus,

eyes, heart, soul and our mind;

fix on loving the Lord,

and the rest of mankind.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You simplified all that You ask of us into one command: Love You, and love others.  Thank You that You do not ask us to do this in our own strength, but rather if we come to You and trust You, You equip and empower us to love You and love others, as You are calling us to do.  Forgive us for our pride that attempts to preserve our reputation, rather than allowing You to be our protection in all things.  Please grant us wisdom and strength to hear You clearly, and to heed Your instruction in all things and at all times.  Lead us to truly love as You love us, and may many come to know You as a result.  Be glorified through our love for You and one another.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. – James 5:11