I LOVE THE STORY OF a sea captain who, while navigating his ship through a storm, found himself on a collision course with what he thought was a large vessel in the distance. He ordered the approaching vessel to alter its course ten degrees south. The reply came back: “Alter your course ten degrees north.” Incensed, the captain shot back, “Alter your course ten degrees south. This is the Captain! I am a battleship!” The reply came back: “Alter your course ten degrees north. This is ensign third class. I am a lighthouse!”
It’s the attitude that is most important. We can choose to preach ourselves and pull rank and risk a shipwreck of all our relationships. Or we can choose to avoid disaster, realize there are some things we simply do not know, and humbly alter our course.
Perhaps the finest model of humility, other than Christ Himself, was that young Jew from Tarsus who was radically transformed from a strong-willed Pharisee named Saul to a bond servant of Jesus Christ called Paul.
It’s possible you have the notion that the apostle Paul rammed his way through life like a fully loaded battleship at sea. Blasting and pounding toward objectives, he was just too important to worry about those who got in his way. Frankly, when he was Saul that pretty much summed up his approach. So, what happened? He met the Savior—and that changed everything . . . especially his attitude toward others.
Take a moment to reflect on Paul’s advice:
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
That’s more like it!
Do you know that your attitude today could very well determine if someone around you resists God’s invitation to bow before Him in repentance? Maybe it’s time to stand down and defer rather than stand up tall and pull rank. Perhaps this would be a good opportunity for you to reconsider your approach to the situation you face today. Before you make another move or say another word, bow before the Lord in prayer.
Ask Him to make you more like Paul than Saul.