I remember coming home from school one day as a young teenager complaining to my mom about friendships. Sound familiar?
Maybe I was just having a bad day, or maybe I had read Anne of Green Gables too many times. No matter the reason, I distinctly remember wanting a “kindred spirit” at school. You know…a perfect friend. Someone who listened to me, understood me, laughed with me, cried with me, loved all the same things I loved…someone who I could hang out with all the time and things could just be easy. And I was feeling sorry for myself that although I had friends, I did not have this kind of “perfect” friend. Who better to talk to about this than your mom? She would understand. She would make me feel better.
I will never forget my mom’s words when I poured out my heart to her about my desire for a “best” friend. She did not give me one bit of sympathy. Instead, she instructed me to take my eyes off of myself and instead, go back to school the next day and look for someone who needed a friend.
Mom recognized something in me that day that I did not see in myself. She saw a young girl that was only interested in her own needs. She knew that I needed to get outside of myself and look for opportunities to love and serve others. I praise God for a mom who spoke truth to me, even when it was difficult to hear.
I have thought about this lesson on many occasions since that day. How easy it is to get caught up in ourselves…..
In friendships (Why aren’t my friends there when I need them?)
In our jobs (Why aren’t my talents being recognized at work?)
In marriage (Why isn’t my husband being the godly husband he should be?)
As moms (Why are my children so ungrateful?)
In ministry (Why don’t I see the fruit of all of my labor?)
In church (Why aren’t people reaching out to me?)
I often go back to my mom’s words that day so many years ago. Oh, that we would be women who consider others and look out for their interests, following the example of Christ so amazingly laid out for us in Philippians:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
-Faith B. 🙂