By Neil Anderson
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.
Once when I was pastoring I got a distress call: “Pastor, you better get over here or we’re liable to kill each other.” When I arrived at the house I persuaded them to sit down across the table from each other to talk through their problem. They whaled away at each other for several minutes, slamming each other with accusations and insults.
Finally I interrupted. “Time out! Each of you get your Bible.” I asked the husband to read Romans 14:4: “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” “That verse is talking about judging another person’s character,” I said. “Before God, each of you is responsible for your own character.” They nodded their agreement.
Then I asked the wife to read Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.” “That verse is talking about needs,” I continued. “Before God, each of you is responsible for meeting each other’s needs.” Again the couple agreed with my statement.
“Do you realize what you have been doing the last two hours? Instead of assuming responsibility for your own character, you’ve been ripping apart your partner’s character. Instead of looking out for your partner’s needs, you’ve been selfishly absorbed with your own needs. No wonder your marriage isn’t functioning” Before I left that day, they prayerfully committed to refocus their responsibilities according to the Word of God.
What kind of families and churches would we have if we all assumed responsibility for our own character and sought to meet the needs of those we live with?
Prayer: Lord, I want to be able to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”