And this is what I've come to learn...
1. It's not about me because if it is then I'm failing miserably! I've heard this, I've preached this but to actually live this day in and day out is extremely difficult. The problem with thinking that you are more important than you are is that you have to worry too much. Worry about what other people think, worry if you are doing everything that needs to be done, worry if other people realize that you can't do everything and worry if they will discover that you don't know everything. The anxiety it causes when you place yourself in the center of life is too much.
Over and over in the past few weeks as I've studied the Bible, read books and watched DVD's the same passage in Phillipians has come up. It's almost freaky how often I've run across this passage during completly unrelated experiences. The passage explains and I quote, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!"
Wow! If Christ didn't consider it his priority to have everyone know he was actually God, then who do I need to impress? And what am I gonna use to impress them? If that wasn't enough for me to swallow the passage goes on to say that not only was he God, but that he humbled himself to look, live and exist with nasty, stinky, sin filled humans. He left heaven with his angels who knew who he was and how to praise him in the most perfect way to live here with us where we didn't praise him but we killed him.
My attitude needs to be the same as Christs. Actually, when I finally started to accept this, it was freeing! No more anxiety...no more worrying...just being...just serving...just being who I am.
2. The second thing I've learned this week is that there must be joy in serving the Lord! It is not by his design for believers to live with distrust, pain, conflict or parinoa. We are not called to tolorate eachother but to love eachother. Unfortunately, because we are sin filled people we screw up the design almost all the time and then after we screw it up we forget that God wants more and better for us.
In fact He doesn't just want better for us, He wants to BEST for us...the BEST for me! So, although life is not always easy, relationships are not always perfect and service is not always going to be joy filled...complete misery in service is not His design. If it is always miserable, always filled with conflict it is not right.
I want to know the joy of the Lord. I want to profess that "the joy of the Lord is my strength!" I will never be able to say those things if I choose to stay neck deep in conflict and feast on coflict as though it were a gormet meal. And I am guilty of both those things.
So...if you have stuck with my ramblings...this is my conclusion. I am still learning what it means to be humble and live in service to others...sometimes this service is filled with conflict however, conflict is not where God desires me to stay. I am learning that there is peace and joy in resting in the shadow of the Almighty. My desire is to serve God and forget about myself.