Philippians 2:3-- Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
At first, that verse sounds intimidating-- depressing even. Not really 'encouraging' in our 365 days of biblical Encouragement. But lets look deeper...
We all know that it is important to not be selfish. That you should think of others first--- BUT this does NOT include your health. When that is concerned, you need to be as 'selfish' as you need to be. (I've dealt with that some this summer..... and I really needed to know that. Did you?)
What this verse means is if you DON'T put others first (in non-health related issues), it will hurt them. Examples of this is:
*Not paying a tip (you selfishly kept your money)
*Not helping your elderly neighbor mow their yard (your time was more important)
*Refusing to take someone somewhere 'because you didn't feel like it (and it wasn't a major illness).
All of those things hurts others and therefore God. It also hurts our testimony if people see us as selfish.
Also, we aren't supposed to try to impress others. When my oldest girl started Kindergarten, I felt bad about not having fancy/expensive clothes for her to wear. I wanted to impress, and I was scared that she'd be teased because her "Mama" couldn't afford better clothes for her.
It was all in my mind. Probably the Devil playing with me. No one teased her, and she looked cute-- and confident (in fact, I've had several teachers come up to me and tell me how confident that little girl is!)
"Keeping up with the Jones" only hurts yourself in the long run. "The Jones'" are probably so into themselves that they don't even notice-- or care-- that we are trying to be like them if we want to be frank. Don't try to impress anyone. God likes you just the way you are :)
Be humble-- think of others first.
Now that doesn't meant to neglect yourself completely. You should try to look your best, but not to the point of conceit or being overly prideful. It's NOT selfish to take care of yourself. You can't take care of anyone if you don't take care of yourself. But we shouldn't take SO MUCH care in ourselves that it hurts others (ie spending all of our money on OUR clothes, thinking more of our money than giving tips, taking so much time to get ready in the morning to "look our best" that we make others wait for us.. therefore making it clear that OUR time is more important). There is a fine line there that we all need to pray about finding.
Challenge yourself to do something for others. Give extra tip money. Give to Goodwill. Pay for the meal of the car behind you at McDonalds (I did that once..... the look on his face was worth the extra $5.00). Help a neighbor. Pray for others. A small gesture can go a long, long way.
Doing so will make you feel so much better on the inside-- and nothing is more beautiful than that! :)
God Bless You!