When we can do something well, or when we reach a personal goal, we tend to feel proud of those things. As long as we feel positively about ourselves in a balanced way, it’s a good thing. But if we start to be prideful and critical of others who are struggling with something we’ve mastered, it’s a big problem.
God has really helped me become more disciplined in my eating habits, and I recently spent a week with someone who really struggles in that area. She mentioned several times how disciplined I am and how undisciplined she is, and each time I would respond, “I have areas that are a battle for me too, and you will overcome this as you keep praying and making an effort to grow.”
There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t have been as sensitive to my friend’s feelings—I probably would’ve given her a sermon about the dangers of overeating and poor nutrition. But if I’d done that, I wouldn’t have helped her do anything but feel more guilty and condemned. I’ve discovered that one of the best ways we can love people is to help them not feel worse about things they already feel bad about.
Meekness and humility are two of the most beautiful aspects of love. Paul said that love is not boastful (see I Corinthians 13:4). Love never wants to make others feel badly because they can’t do what we can do. Instead of bragging about our strengths, let’s thank God for them and be intentional to encourage those who are weak.
Prayer Starter: Father, please help me to be gracious and encouraging to those around me that are struggling in areas where I’m a little further along. Thank You for Your patience with me as I’m learning! In Jesus’ Name, amen.