other focused

Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

Philippians 2:3-5

We don’t inhabit others’ spaces. We live in our own spaces. I refuse to say that we live in our own bodies because the real biblical concept which is Hebrew and not Greek is that our bodies are part of our true selves. But we live within our own understanding and experience. So it’s more than understandable when we want to share what we’re up to with others. Particularly when we think it might be helpful. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But what if our focus was not on that, but simply on tuning into others, to what they might share, what they’re thinking and feeling, their experience and take on things? And what if that became our practice, just a part of us, what we do? So that we offer our perspective ordinarily only when asked, or naturally within a conversation with another.

Yes, we need to give, but we also need to receive. And we do so as those who are “in Christ” and who are to let the mind of Christ be in us. Christ came not to be served, but to serve, and lived among others in complete love, a love which was humble and gentle. Yes, none of us are equals in any sense with Christ except that the very Spirit of Christ and through that, the heart and mind of Christ does somehow indwell us individually and together. We must not hold back from what we might be given to share with others, yet we need to be attentive to what others might share with us, and what God might be wanting to teach us through that.

Something of the other-orientation I am becoming more aware of and seeking to grow into. In and through Jesus.

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