“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs." - Matthew 5:3
One of the most important things I have learned about walking into stressful situations is to give a good "Size-Up". In a matter of seconds one must consider what are the real issues at hand, what can be done to mitigate the problem and what can be learned from it for future events. This can be true for family crisis, church work and emergency services. The frustrating thing is that sometimes I tend to "size-Up" myself in ways that well are, how can I say it "Selfish". In recent days there is one verse that has been rocking my world every day. It's found in Philippians 2:3-4.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
The first three words of those verses have been like a two-edged sword that is splitting the two sides of me. (The person I want to be / The person God wants me to be) Yes it is far easier to "size-up" situations that I encounter rather than addressing those idiosyncrasies in my life that are merely selfishness cloaked in a plastic shell.
Jesus tells us to be poor and realize our need for him. Poor means "Poor In Spirit" or in layman's terms be HUMBLE. I am learning that humble does NOT mean let people run over or define me. It means to think in every situation, how can I help others. What gain is there in looking out for number one, when we are all called to Love God first and others second.
Today, ask God to show you areas in your life that are rooted in selfishness. Then ask, "How can I flip this around to put others first?" This is an exercise I force myself to do every day. I am far from having it mastered but have seen God working in new ways. I have seen the blessings in my marriage, ministry, and friendships by doing this. It's a hard process but so worth it. I have realized that the worst thing that could happen would be to continue in my selfishness and get what I wanted, while missing the blessings of what God wanted for me.