She was coming.
Yes, I’d invited her, but I really hoped she’d be unable to come.
After all, she intimidated me. Her clothes were better. Her house was bigger. Her lifestyle was best. And yet, it was Christmas. I was supposed to have peace and good will toward all – even her.
So, as I had always done, I began to dread the holiday. I moped as I put up the tree, sulked as I wrapped and brooded over my hot spiced punch. Even Bing Crosby’s “Round and Round the Christmas Tree” didn’t have its usual appeal.
Then one morning, without much ado, the Lord spoke to me afresh in His Word. It was a verse I’d memorized as a college student and had highlighted in every Bible I owned. Yet, today the verse spoke directly to me: “Do not regard equality a thing to be grasped, Kandy” (Philippians 2:6).
I knew that Jesus hadn’t grappled about His rights with God, but somehow, I’d never thought about this particular verse applying to my life as well.
This was my problem though. I wanted her to view me just as brilliant, just as well dressed, and just as well liked as she was.
But here He pierced my heart and opened my eyes.
“Equality isn’t your goal,” He revealed anew.
“So, what is?” I countered. “Just how am I to pass those days with her here in my midst?”
And then, as He so often does, He answered in His still small voice with the next verse: “Empty yourself. Take the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7).
Although written in black and white, my heart pulsed, knowing that the Word was speaking directly at my festering attitude.
As I received these words, others flooded immediately to mind:
“That you be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the Truth” (Ephesians 4:23-24).
“Let no unwholesome Word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).
Before I could talk myself out of it, I grabbed a little notebook and jotted down these words. I knew my weakness toward forgetfulness and tucked the truths in the shelf above the toilet in my bathroom. I would refer to them often during that holiday weekend, especially when the tempter whispered “equality” into my ear.
I’m not sure what kind of holiday she had. But I found that I had the best time with her I ever had – allowing her to be herself and following my divine instructions to make sure the needs of my guests were met.
Who are you dreading seeing this holiday? Could it be that you have been seeking the foreground, when the Father is calling you into the background? Let’s pray for one another in this area…okay?