Saddle up.

One of the dynamics about having four kids that I find interesting, is their constant attempts at jockeying for position within the family. None of them is content with just being a daughter. Each wants to be the best, favorite daughter. Every night they race to claim the spot next to Dad or Mom at the dinner table. Chore assignments morph into a competition to see who can get the best compliment. Even on special occassions like birthdays, they watch closely to see if each gift garners an equal reaction.

What none of them realize is that the moments they most capture our hearts is not when they are jockeying for it. I am slayed with love when one of them offers their seat to another at the dinner table. I bubble over with joy when they are more excited about showing off their sister's accomplishment than their own. I am fraught with delight when one of them helps the other make or purchase a gift and then exhibits more enthusiasm about her sister's gift than her own.

This morning my reading is from Acts, Chapter 18. This section of scripture details Paul's visits to Corinth, Ephesus, Antioach, Galatia and Phrygia. Today I am struck by the fact the Paul didn't just spread the good news about Jesus wherever he went. He also dedicated himself to making sure that these new Christians were growing in their faith. In Verse 23, Paul was said to be "strengthening all the disciples".

Far different from jockeying for position, stengthening others involves selflessness, an investment of time and a great deal of sensitivity and kindness. It can involve acts of service (Philippians 2:3-4) or living out my life in such a way that my life serves as a practical example for others to follow (1 Corinthians 11:1). For certain, it the opposite of how each of us humans is naturally wired with a strong pull and desire to attain, obtain and achieve only for our own good and glory.

Today Jesus may I serve to strengthen the faith of others around me. Whether in words or actions, may what I do draw others closer to You. Saddle up my horse. I'm ready to ride for the good of others instead of jockeying for myself.

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