“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” -1 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)
Charles de Gaulle, president of France from 1958-69, once said that “graveyards are full of indispensable men.” Despite his wisdom, the world is full of people who want to appear indispensable. They want to be known far and wide, speak at huge banquets, or have a hit show on YouTube.
There are two problems with this. First, you are more likely to remember those who helped you along in life than those who became famous.
How do you feel about your mother and all the time she gave to comfort you, encourage you, wipe your nose and clean up your messes? Or the father who taught you how to ride a bike, go fishing, or sat patiently and smiled at your first tea party?
Do you still remember the teacher who helped launch your career by making sure you knew the basics—and helped you master more complex concepts? Or the mentor who taught you how to drive, encouraged you to pursue your dream, or just offered you a listening ear when you were upset?
How do all those giving people compare to those who gave little of themselves so they could devote all their time to associating with the “in” crowd?
The other problem with trying to always be the center of attention is the way it contradicts the Bible’s advice.
Peter, a close follower of Jesus, wrote the letter quoted above, in which he advised others how to act. In a nutshell, he said they should be loving, compassionate and humble. This kind of behavior starts with being more interested in helping someone else than calling attention to yourself.
A wise man once wrote, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). Those words illustrate that the best way to make a “name” is by helping someone else.
A Challenge For You
Make a list of several people who have meant a lot to you. What are three qualities each person demonstrated? How are you trying to imitate what those people did? Pick someone you can help this week by acting the same way.
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