Outdo one another in showing honor.” Rom. 12:10


Lord Jesus, “outdoing one another” is a pretty instinctive part of life—for better and worse. Some work hard to outdo friends on the golf course, pickle ball court, or in trout streams. Some enjoy having “the yard” most envied by neighbors, or scoring higher than peers on grad-school entrance exams.

Others live to win from the sidelines—vicariously triumphing  through their kids’ soccer, T-ball, and flag-football teams. Even pastors and churches can seek to win at “fannies and finances”—boasting in the number of attendees, services, and budget size. But Jesus, the way of the Gospel is so different. “Outdoing one another” takes on a whole new meaning the better we know you, the more we love you, the closer we live to you.

What a glorious “competition” grace ignites. We get more joy in honoring others than by seeking attention for ourselves. We “win” at being first to listen, repent, and encourage. Thinking of others more highly than ourselves and assuming the best about them becomes our default mode (Phil. 2:1-5).

Life becomes a “reverse tug-of-war”—in which we give more than we grab. We pull for each other rather than pick at each other… we out-kind, out-mercy, out-gentle, out-forgive, out-overlook, out-forbear one another.

Jesus, this would seem completely silly, co-dependent—even dangerous, and certainly impossible, if it wasn’t rooted in your love for us. This is the way you relate to us. You weren’t tight-fisted with your equality with our Father. Rather, you opened your hands to become one with us and one for us. You—the creator and King of the cosmos, became our servant… living and dying for us. There is no greater love. Jesus, we’re tired of being selfish. Make us more like yourself. So Very Amen.