Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hogging The Sidewalk

I was taking a walk down the sidewalk yesterday.  Two guys were walking towards me and talking with each other.  As we were getting closer to each other, I was waiting to see how they were going to share the sidewalk with me.  I just knew one of them would step in front of or behind the other so that a lane could be clear for me.  But neither of them did it.  They kept walking right by each other and hogging the sidewalk.  At the last moment, when we were only a few feet from each other, I had to step in the grass and walk around both of them.  Neither of them had offered to share the sidewalk and neither of them apologized.

Confession time:  I think that was a bonehead thing for them to do.  And it did bug me a little bit.  Most people know to share the sidewalk.

But as I reflect on that, I realize it's human nature.  We all can get a little selfish one way or another.  Occasionally, every single one of us can fall into the trap of only thinking about ourselves.  So the truth is, I can't get too down on those guys for hogging the sidewalk because I have also been selfish at times.

Ephesians 2:3-4 is where we find these words of the Apostle Paul:  "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."  What an important teaching!  He reminds us to look out for other people rather than selfishly focus on the person who stares back at us in the mirror.

The key to defeating selfishness is sharing with people what we have and who we are.  Just like Jesus was selfless and cared more for the needs of others, we have the awesome opportunity every day to focus outward and be a blessing to folks in our circles of influence.  Rather than our life being all about taking, it can instead be all about giving.

On this day, let's all think about the well being of others.  Let's do what we can to make life better for people we encounter.  When we do this, we reflect the goodness of our Lord to the world, and we make life for everyone a little bit better.

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