Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3, NIV.
Have you ever been around a person who makes you feel unworthy? Maybe you have felt like you have to share your accomplishments or act in a certain way to gain their approval. When the enemy tempted Jesus in the wilderness to turn a rock into bread, Jesus didn’t demonstrate His power by accepting the devil’s challenge, instead He quoted scripture, proving the authority of the Word of God.
You should never have to do anything to prove to people who you are.
On the other hand, it is a gift when you meet someone who makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, yet challenges you to grow. That type of person is a treasured gift. I am striving to become such a person.
Over ten years ago Sister Oakes, who was the Ladies Ministry President for the UPCI, invited me to lunch with her and about twenty other District Ladies Presidents. At the time, I was fresh out of Bible College, in church for only a few years, and just beginning my ministry. I was nameless to every woman at the lunch table, except for Sis. Oakes.
There was a war going on in my heart—I was so thankful to be with amazing women of God, but I kept thinking, “I don’t belong here.” I continued to sip my water as I held back tears.
I’m convinced that Sis. Oakes could read my mind and she took me by the hand and said, “I’m so proud of you.” She began to share what God was doing in my life with the women at the table and made me feel so valued. I promise you—I did not deserve special treatment, but I will never forget the investment she made in my life that day.
Sis. Oakes had every natural right to act pretentious at lunch because she had the highest ranking position at the table. Instead, she was loving and down-to-earth. She choose to take time out of her very busy life to make someone like me, who felt so unworthy, feel like she belonged.
Putting Lessons Learned into Practice
Currently, I am a Pastor’s wife and I’ve been given a choice to pretend my life is perfect—or to be real about my struggles, God’s faithfulness, my failures, and victories.
I don’t want to display my walk with God as something unattainable, only reserved for a selected few—there is no such thing! God forbid I would make someone feel undeserving of the love of God.
When I walk into a room I don’t want to have an attitude of, “here I am,” but “there you are.”
My hearts desire is to make every person I come in contact with feel worthy of love and a valued part of the Kingdom of God.
Have you had a similar experience with someone like Sis. Oakes? Please share in the comments below, I would love to hear your story. Also, feel free to share some things that you can do today to show someone value.