Friday, March 6, 2015

How Mr. Squeaky Got His Name

Mr. Squeaky.
If you have a dog, you may also have a toy known as “Mr. Squeaky” for reasons quite obvious once the reigning dog of the house decides to play.  Not a terribly creative household, we also have one called “tennis ball”.   Forgive me, some things in life just need to be as easy as possible!  The older I get, the harder it is to remember things, especially names.  I generally have to go through a series of brain quizzes about where we were acquainted, the name of their spouse or dog, or the color of their hair or eyes, then (sometimes) I can come up with a name.  If you are a true friend, please help me by mentioning your name quickly and saving me the embarrassment of the brain quiz. 

More and more frequently, I can easily remember totally useless information. For instance the names of The Three Stooges are Curly, Larry and Moe.  I probably remember Curly because he was bald, but never could remember which face belonged to the other two.  Even more than our given name, or a physical characteristic, our character will be our defining name, and thus Mr. Squeaky earned his name.  While many have taken the name Christ and call themselves Christians, it is much harder to take on His character than His name.  

A particularly difficult aspect to consistently model is His humility.   If you have trouble with this as much as I do, you might have also worn out the page in your Bible with the second chapter of Philippians.  To refresh your memory, the instruction is for Christians to have the same attitude as Christ, Who put our need ahead of His own comfort, and humbled Himself to become a man, and gave His life as a sacrificial payment for our sins.  This sacrifice included a gruesome death.  Yet, He did it in a beautiful act of humility, thinking of us more than Himself.

Consistent humility is vital to the role of becoming a Christ-like Christian.  We cannot look at our well-being as being more important than others, and also have the attitude of Christ.  We cannot have selfish motives and have the attitude of Christ.

The next verses explain how we accomplish that.  We must empty ourselves.  When I am full of me, I want what me wants, and what feels comfortable to me.  You see where I am going don’t you?  In order to have humility, I have to get rid of me and fill myself with Christ. 

So, when our heads are clouded with me and I don’t deserve this, I’m getting out of here, I deserve better than this, remember that Christ did not deserve the pain He endured either.   He did it out of a love so deep that He humbled Himself to bear our punishment, mine and yours.  Love, at least the kind of love He showed to us, does that.  In turn, if we take on His name, and take His payment for our debt, shouldn’t we also demonstrate His name and character by showing everyone that same kind of love?  

Father, it is so very hard to love when we are hurt or treated unfairly.  It is so very difficult to put aside our pain and demonstrate the kind of love You have shown us.  Thank You for showing us how to live in humility.  Thank You for giving us the ability to take on Your attitude that is far superior to our selfish desires.  Help us to continue to empty ourselves of our old ways and focus on becoming more like You as we share Your love.   

Wouldn’t it be something if we, you and I, made a conscious effort to demonstrate the love of Christ through our humility in this selfish world, and be known as humble servants of Almighty God?  Shall we?  How shall we start?  I welcome your suggestions and comments.


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For more faith-filled stories, and a hummingbird I named Oscar...read the first chapter here.


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