Day six in Brazil and I am really starting to get acclimated to the country. I have learned just enough Portuguese to be dangerous, and the customs of the country are beginning to feel familiar. One of these customs is their one regarding eating. They are very proud of their local food, and meal times are very important times for them. Since I have been here I have continued to be invited for meals, constantly been given new foods to try and vigorously encouraged, if not strongly rebuked to eat, eat, eat! Well, when in Rome…
One of the reasons that mealtime is so important in Brazil is that family seems to have a much higher position in their culture then it does in much of the US. The family system takes a huge priority with adults sharing mealtimes with their parents, siblings and even extended family on a regular basis. It’s like Christmas Dinner every night- even at lunchtime.
It reminded me of lessons I have been taught in my own life regarding family. My father always put a high premium on family. He taught me that family always comes first, and he lived that out as a dad, no matter how busy he was when I was growing up. I always knew I could count on him whenever I needed him.
I continued to learn about family after I became a Christian, but I leaned about it a different way. One of the great things I have learned from being a part of Southpoint Community Church is how God also gives you a spiritual family, and how important that family is as well. My spiritual family is one of the greatest blessings in my life. The people with whom I walk with and work with there, are like any natural family. I have fun with them, learn from them, fight with them, stand with them during tough times, count on them, laugh with them, protect them- everything you would expect in any family system. My spiritual father is my pastor who I have mentioned in earlier posts. He has been instrumental in “raising me” to be a man of God. I have learned countless things from him, but two of the most important I learned from him, I learned just by being around him for so long. How to walk in love and humility- which I have come to realize are very much tied together. It is impossible to be humble without love. It is impossible to love without humility.
This is one of the things I taught about tonight at e3 Brazil!
Philippians 2 is the roadmap that God gives us to walk this out:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
These few verses are the quintessential in defining humility, yet look at these concepts and try and see how you accomplish any of them without love…counting others more significant than yourself; looking out for others; emptying yourself; serving; being obedient. These are all things that require love. Especially dying. God’s ultimate act of love- sending His Son to the cross to die for us. The greatest act of sacrificial love in history. There are times we are called to humble ourselves and die to our own flesh solely for the sake of loving others.
These areas of humility we must practice if we are going to love the way Christ loved us. Imagine how our life would change and how the lives of those around us would change if we were truly able to derive pleasure from the pleasure of others. Imagine if dedicating the time spent deriving pleasures from the material trappings of the world were spent gaining pleasure from the joy of helping others and esteeming them better than ourselves. Imagine how we could impact the world around us once we really understand the necessity for love as a prerequisite for humility.
What great thoughts to imagine…