The Thrill of Second Place

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Humans like to be at the head of the line, but God desires to transform your thinking to be like Christ's, putting others first.

Bible Reading: Romans 12:9-13

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other—Romans 12:10.

SCENARIO # 1: You’re gabbing with your friends at a big party, and almost every­body beats you to the food. When you finally get to the table, there are only two choices left: (a) a gorgeous wedge of French Silk pie, and (b) two sad little vanilla wafers. Your choice is obvious-until you notice Chad, heavyweight captain of the wrestling team, ambling toward the dessert table. What will you do?

_____ Body check Chad into the next room, grab the pie, and run.

_____ Jab your finger into the middle of the pie, then say, “Sorry, Chad, this one is infected with my germs.”

_____Slide the pie toward the approaching hulk and say, “I’d like you to have this piece of pie, Chad. Enjoy!”

Scenario #2: The Stale Donuts have been your favorite Christian band forever, and their only concert in town all year is next week. Your youth leader snagged 15 tickets, and they’re going fast. You hand your money to her and she gives you the next-to-Iast ticket. As you walk away, you hear Lisa, another student, say, “Only one ticket left? But I need two. My friend from school isn’t a Christian, and she promised to go hear the Stale Donuts with me if I could get tickets.” What will you do?

_____ Ask Lisa, “What? You won’t give up your ticket so your friend can go to the concert? What kind of Christian are you anyway?”

_____ Tell Chad he can have the French Silk pie if he will sell Lisa his ticket.

_____ Turn to Lisa and say, “It’s great your friend wants to go with you. Here have my ticket. I’ll be praying for your friend.”

Was the third choice in each scenario hard to swallow? Maybe those choices didn’t bother you, but there are probably other times you’ve hesitated to give up something you wanted in order to put someone else first. There’s a simple reason: Humans like to be at the head of the line.

But God desires to transform your thinking to be like Christ’s, who put you first by sacrificing his life for you. God calls you to display the same attitude toward peo­ple around you. It’s called honoring each other. God is pleased when you choose to honor others above yourself like Jesus did.

REFLECT: What stands in the way of your letting God transform your thinking?

PRAY: Tell God about your struggles now.

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