March 25, 2008

 

The Sunny-Side-Up Car

By Susanne Scheppmann

 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3 NIV)

 

Devotion:

I received a rude hand gesture as I was driving, twice in one day. “What in the world?” I thought. I am a careful and considerate driver, and thought I was driving just fine. I could not remember the last time I had angered another driver to that extent. Today, it happened not once but twice, and I couldn’t figure out why.

 

Then just a few blocks from home, a woman in a sporty yellow convertible raced by me, honking obnoxiously and glaring at me. Finally, it began to dawn on me why this was happening. I usually drive a shiny SUV. Today, I was tooling around in our old car with very faded paint and eggs splattered across it. A few weeks ago, someone had thrown eggs at the car as a prank, and by the time we discovered it, the egg had adhered permanently. We scrubbed and scraped but in the heat of the Nevada desert, the eggs had baked into the paint.

 

Then an “ah-ha” thought popped into my mind. People were judging my driving skills and me, by my sunny-side-up egged car. Their attitudes became aggressive. They felt they needed to put me in “my place.” Their angry actions told me, “Get that thing off the road. Don’t you know how to drive, woman?” I suspect this was because my car looked like a disaster.

 

Sadly, I know I have misjudged, misinterpreted, and misunderstood other people because they look and act differently than I do. Unfortunately, sometimes I inspect the outside and never delve beyond the exterior of the person.

 

However, today’s key verse instructs us differently— to consider others better than ourselves. In addition, Romans 12:16 advises, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (NIV)

 

I guess I am thankful for my sunny-side-up egged car. Every time I turn the key in the ignition, I’ll be reminded that appearances do not matter.

 

Dear Lord, forgive me for the times I have judged someone by his or her outward appearance. Remind me that we are all Your children. Grant me the grace to love unconditionally as You do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Perplexing Proverbs – A Woman’s Bible Study by Susanne Scheppmann

 

God’s Purpose for Every Woman by Various P31 Speakers and Authors

 

Visit Susanne’s Blog

 

Application Steps: 

Read Philippians 2:1-11.

 

Make notes on how “your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (vs. 5).

 

Reflections: 

In what circumstances do I tend to judge people by their outward appearance?

 

Do I truly believe that God loves everyone? Do I act like it?

 

Power Verses:

Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (NIV)

 

Zechariah 7:10, “Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” (NIV)

 

© 2008 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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