There are people in life whom I have held in great esteem. For example, when I was a young teenage girl many of the pop culture music stars had my attention. Now when I say they had that attention I don’t mean only when I watched a music video. I attended to their articles in popular magazines that decorated the checkout stands, watched the talk shows that they appeared on, and even news segments that highlighted their lives. I took the time to get to know who they were as an individual and valued what they had to say. As I was in my early twenties, I held a great regard for friends I had built a certain amount of trust for. Giving them the same type of attention as I did to those stars, I would take a genuine interest in their lives. Unfortunately, as my trust was breached I easily let go of the value I held for their words or even who they were as a human. This became my defense mechanism; a wall so carefully built that it could not be penetrated by people rather taken down by God himself.
During the season of what I call my “heart renovation”, I was very skeptical of people and their intentions, inadvertently keeping at bay great people for fear of a catosrophic repeat of pain. Yet, one day I came across these words in the Bible, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). This verse literally changed my outlook on life and my position in it.
You see, I would give to people the attentive dedication only if I didn’t feel threatened-my good was the first thing considered; not theirs. However, this is not how God freed me to live. He has freed both you and I to live and give of ourselves unhindered. As God’s children, we don’t have to walk around guarded, or looking out for our own interest all of the time; that is our heavenly father’s role. We can freely look out for the good of others.
We can highly regard people over ourselves, this is the model that Jesus displayed on earth. Although it isn’t always easy to do, it is much easier than painstakingly building walls that keep you bound to the pain of the past. Esteem my dear friend, esteem away.