I would like to bring this week’s Fighter Verse back in time and present it to the fifteen year old me, with some advice.

Here is the story:

When I was fifteen (give or take a year or two) and it was early in December when my parents encouraged my siblings and me to memorize the Christmas portion of Luke 2.  I decided to take up the challenge, and so did my sister who is three years younger than me.

God gave different gifts to my sister and me.  She is more personable, makes friends more easily, and had more of a servant attitude.  I was more academically minded and perhaps more suited to the task of memorization.  But she took up the challenge.  I’m ashamed to say that I hoped I would be the only one to succeed; I wanted it to be more clear who was the smart kid.  I had a chance to help her, and I did not take it.

So here’s this week’s Fighter Verse:  “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” (Ro. 15:1-2)

I did not do this when I was fifteen.  I used my strength to build myself up –to please myself.  I did not use my strength as God wanted me to.  If I had, I would have helped her, perhaps she would have succeeded, and I would have gotten joy out of the process.

So this week as I was talking about this verse with my kids, I told them that story.  I pray that my failure will at least have the benefit of serving as a counter example to them.  And maybe to you, as well.

Here is this week’s song. When I wrote it, I wasn’t thinking about the story about my sister, but the phrasing almost makes it sound like I was trying to lecture: And not to please ourselves, not to please ourselves, NOT to please ourselves.