My home office window faces out to the street in front of our house. There’s a T intersection where a street meets the main road; the main road has no stop, but the intersecting street does. Every day I get to watch my knucklehead neighbors do their best not to run into each other because they either don’t really want to stop at the stop sign; they think they can beat the oncoming car; or they make a wide turn onto the intersecting street, taking up the entire road as if it’s theirs because it’s in their neighborhood.
I have to admit that I am severely annoyed by inconsiderate people.
And it’s not just drivers, but it tends to be them a lot! I was at the local VA clinic the other day and a dude gets a cup of coffee, waits for his number to be called, puts his half-full coffee cup on the table with the coffee dispenser, goes to his appointment and then simply walks out afterwards, leaving his half-cup of coffee just sitting there for someone else to take care of.
Forgive me, Lord, but the word JERK did enter my head!
Why are people so inconsiderate of others? It starts with selfishness, which comes from pride. For some reason, in any given situation people feel more entitled or self-centered, or better than those around them. That includes those who don’t even realize they’re doing anything wrong because they don’t even acknowledge there is anyone else around them!
And all selfishness is sin.
Scripture teaches us in Philippians 2:3 that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in all things, consider others better than ourselves. Think about that for a moment. Don’t start reading yet – actually think about that.
Okay, what came to your mind? For me, it means what it says – EVERYONE is better than me, which means I have to be considerate of everyone around me no matter their status, position, opinions, or even their faith. It makes sense in the context of Jesus telling us that we are to love others as He has loved us.
I get that is not always easy. I spend a good portion of my day asking God to forgive me for something I thought about another person! It’s hard to not get frustrated with other people, especially those who are inconsiderate!
But as Christians, we should NEVER be seen as inconsiderate to anyone! People should see us as the most thoughtful people they know who always have their best interests at heart when we deal with them.
This is really important because it is impossible to serve others unless you have this mindset. Think about it; how can you serve someone else if you think you’re better than them?
This is a short piece, but I want you to consider this: Are there areas in your life where you are inconsiderate? If there are, STOP IT! Don’t be that guy with a fish on the back of your car cutting into a lane at the last moment because YOU need to take an exit! Don’t be that person in line at the checkout counter sighing loudly enough for everyone to know you’re upset because you have five items and two other people in front of you have full baskets! Don’t be the person wearing a cross around your neck and leave a mess for someone else to clean up at the Panera when you know you’re supposed to bus your own dishes.
In all things, think about the other guy and act accordingly. Believe it or not, the world does not spin around you! It spins around Jesus and He expects us to act in a way that bring glory to His name. In fact, He expects us to act in a way that will entice others to seek Him as well. Yes, it may mean it takes you a little longer to get to where you’re going. Yes, it may mean you have to defer to people who may not be very nice or pleasant. And yes, it may mean that you have to be WAY more thoughtful about your actions than you’re used to. But yes, it means Jesus will be honored and you will be a good and faithful servant.