Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interest of others. Philippians 2:3–4
My niece stood quietly by herself observing other people talking and laughing together, we were at a social gathering to celebrate our October birthdays. These were people she had known all her life and yet she didn’t join in on the conversations. I asked her later why she had been so quiet, she said she just didn’t feel comfortable in group settings and never knew what to say to anyone.
Actually, I could relate to what she was saying, I used to hate large gatherings of people, not my own family though, I always felt comfortable with them. It was acquaintances or people I didn’t know, that I struggled with. I would stand alone waiting for someone to come talk to me, awkwardly holding a cup of coffee and longing to slip quietly away.
This all changed when I became a small group leader in a Bible study. The start day began with an open coffee time for all the ladies (which struck terror in my heart). Our director told us it was our job to help these ladies feel comfortable. It was not about us or how we were feeling, it was about them. We were to look for people standing alone and go talk to them, think about them, and ask them questions.
That morning I thought, why oh why did I say I would help in this ministry? I was terrified and felt sick to my stomach, but because it was my “job”, I pushed myself to look around at others and found several women standing by themselves. I went over to them, introduced myself and focused on them; listening and asking them questions.
Everything changed after that. By taking the focus off of myself and placing it on others, I had a wonderful time. It wasn’t about me anymore, feeling lonely and left out, it was about helping others feel comfortable.
My chains of fear, surrounding social gatherings fell away, and I hadn’t even known I was being held in bondage.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my self-focus, in humility, help me look to the interest and needs of others. Thank you for breaking my chains of bondage as I walk out my faith. I love you Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.