Category Archives: Church

Church Strengthens Us in Our Weak Areas

I was thinking about how I was spiritually challenged and strengthened when we were in Louisville, KY from ’13-’14 as I studied my MDiv at Southern Seminary, and we went to Clifton Baptist Church. As I was a pastoral intern at the church for that year, I was blessed to be able to get a closer look at the church and the leaders of the church than I probably otherwise would have been.

Three of the elders in the church had particular strengths that were exactly spiritual gifts that I am very weak on. One elder was Tom Schreiner. He was such a humble guy, though he had written many well-known books at the seminary. But every week he would get up out of his seat and help old ladies in our Sunday school class as they would get into their seats. He never seemed to be self-promoting about himself, but soft-spoken and unassuming. I am a proud guy and feel incredibly challenged when I think about Tom’s example of living out humility. Another elder was David Dykes. He is willing to serve others, and would often be the one to go way out of his way to help people out when they were in need. I am not too strong in serving others, and so I could see his model of service and learn from it, to try to be more like him in that regard. The last elder I want to mention is Shawn Wright. Shawn has an amazing spirit of gentleness about him. He is approachable and has a soft and gentle spirit to him, and in how he interacts with those around him. Again, gentleness is not something that I feel very strong in. So Shawn’s model of gentleness is something I can strive to pray to have more of for myself.

Praise God that He puts people around us in the church to strengthen the church as a whole. And He also desires that when we see godly traits in others that we don’t necessarily have, we may strive to pray that the Lord may grow us in those areas.

OT Model of Humility – follows Philippians 2:4

Recently I heard a good biblical example of the verse right before the part in Philippians 2 where it talks about how we should imitate the humility of Christ [2:5-11]. Right before this great section, also speaking about humility, is Philippians 2:3,4, which says: “Do┬ánothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”

The NIV talks about how we should look at others’ ‘interests’ above our own ‘interests’. The ESV uses the word ‘preferences’, that we should look at others’ ‘preferences’ above our own ‘preferences’.

A sweet example of this from the Old Testament is when Abram and Lot are traveling together in Genesis 13 with their respective families & shepherds. There is some conflict between the shepherds of the two families, so Abram & Lot decide to go separate ways. Though Abram clearly should have the first choice of what land he wants to take, as he’s the leader of the group, he looks first to what Lot wants to do and lets Lot make the decision. Abram says that whatever direction Lot chooses, Abram will go the other way.

This story is a great picture of what Paul talks about in Phil. 2:4, that we should look at others’ ‘interests’ above our own ‘interests’.