“In the event of a loss of air pressure, the oxygen masks will be released. Place the mask over your own nose and mouth BEFORE placing it on your child or those traveling with you who may require help.”
As a daughter of a dad in the airline industry, I grew up as an “airline brat”, traveling often in an airplane. I appreciate those stewards/stewardesses who bring a creative and humorous flair to the same ol’ safety procedure script while taxiing to the runway. Any method to cause attention to the important principles of safety, especially for those who are frequent flyers and have become complacent and prone to hearing the reminders as mere white noise, is a score of victory. Moms and dads commonly find themselves spent and willing to sacrifice, even sometimes their own lives, for the benefit of their child. Cue reminder: What good will we be for our children if we ourselves are not breathing?
We hear in scripture often the importance that God places on humility, putting ourselves last and being others-minded and so those, such as myself, who set out to walk in God’s ways and be transformed more and more like Christ, sometimes seek and strive to do that well, at times falling into the trap of then neglecting the other side of the balance scale that does speak of looking out for and loving ourselves too. The little grammatical conjunctives in scripture (the “and”, “but”, “as”, etc), sometimes fade to the background and we forget to be fully obedient to the passage.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
“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.” Philippians 2:3-4
We can be just partially obedient and pat ourselves on the back for serving and loving others so well, but what about making sure that we are not forsaking or forgetting ourselves and are healthy and cared for too? The scales must be leveled!
Throughout the gospels we see the example in Jesus Himself who took time out from serving other’s needs to pray for himself to the Father, to rest and fuel up in quiet seclusion, being in intimate fellowship with God, in order to hear from and remain in the perfect will of God.
In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus lovingly corrected Martha with authority and affirmed her sister Mary’s posture and position before Him for her own benefit, as He and the others in their home were being served by Martha. Martha’s meal was robbed of its pure nutrients, because she was not operating from the overflow of God’s filling. Her cup was not running over. She did not give it a chance to even reach the brim, because of the seepage from the undue stress cracks of carrying a burden that was not hers to carry. The waterfall effect of an overflowing cup drowns out the lies of the enemy. The lies of self-pity, self-righteousness, self-disdain, resentment, a critical spirit, envy, seeking approval from people, vindication, etc. are silenced.
A good habit is to pray daily Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
More importantly, take the time to listen and obey God’s response to that prayer and also ask Christ daily to give you specific descriptions of who you are in His eyes of perfection. THEN be moved to love your neighbor, as yourself, from that point of view and after inspecting and spying out your own interests that matter to God; examine and consider then those same things in others. How can we help disciple others about eternal things that please God when we ourselves are not pleasing God? This approach is a perspective changer and evens the playing field, bringing glory to God.
In my Father’s Sight,