The Way Up Is Down
“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
If you have been a Christian long you know by now that God’s ways are very different from the worlds ways. You might say in most cases they are diametrically opposed to one another. Every once in a while though the world hits pay dirt with a concept that isn’t really new at all and yet some ideas are deemed so good that even the New York Times honors the idea by placing the work on the best sellers list. Take Stephen Covey, in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” he wrote that one of the 7 principles to effective living was to “seek first to understand before being understood”. Hey, didn’t Jesus say that? Wasn’t that a principle that Jesus taught long before it became a New York Times best seller? Yes, Jesus taught His disciples one of the keys to effective living was to prefer others over or before ourselves. To put others first is how Jesus lived His life.
I recall reading an article that shared the story of famed martial arts expert Bruce Lee who was asked by an advanced student if Lee would teach him everything he knew about martial arts. In response,Bruce Lee held up two cups, both filled with water: "This cup represents all I know, and the second cup represents all you know," Lee said. "If you want to fill your cup with my knowledge, you must first empty your cup of your knowledge." I thought about that a lot and applied it in different situations. I thought how could this illustration improve marriages? I thought about how each couple is like a cup of water. If I force my knowledge, (better stated, my opinion) on my wife without considering her it’s like pouring water into a full cup. We all know you can’t pour water into a full cup. Yet, if I come to her and let her pour out her heart to me first regarding a situation it gives her a chance to empty herself and then I am able to fill her with my (limited) knowledge regarding the situation. What a novel idea, and guess what? It works!
The way up is down when it comes to winning others. To prefer others is Jesus method that brings to mind the old saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Think about that today when you face a situation where there can easily be two points of view. Start by picking the others point of view and see if in the process they don’t empty themselves a little giving you the chance to fill them with the knowledge you have, and win them to your position. Yeah, I know there is risk but it’s worth the extra effort. Kind of like going the extra mile isn’t it? Oh wait, that’s another Jesus method, Ha!
Be blessed today as you seek to bless others. Prefer them, listen to them, hear all sides then act and you just might discover people will open up to you because they know you are listening, and they can sense that you care. Jesus was full of wisdom but He was never full of Himself. Follow Him in His examples and in His ways and you too will become fishers of men. What worked 2000 years ago still works today for the simple fact that truth never changes. The greatest among us is the servant of all.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
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