How to Live Out of the Goodness of God’s Grace
by Lynette Kittle
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” - Philippians 2:3-4
A few years back, I spent numerous hours each week in our mini-van, commuting over 80 miles each day to work and back on the South Florida turnpike. It was tiring to say the least, especially on busy roadways filled with aggressive drivers. Daily, I found myself maneuvering through an onslaught of cars speeding up behind, passing, and cutting in front of me. I tried to keep a good attitude, but it wasn’t always easy.
On one particular day, a car sped up beside my vehicle, then maneuvered to pull in front of my car to exit the ramp. Unlike my usual reaction to let cars in ahead of me, I felt aggravated. Instead of slowing down to make room, I edged closer to the auto in front of me, preventing it from pulling in front of mine. Seeing I wasn't going to let him in, the driver sped ahead and cut in front of the next car.
Almost immediately after doing so, Philippians 2:3-4 came to mind. In examining my own heart, I realized how my actions had fallen short in meeting this exhortation to think of others as more important than myself. I hadn't look out for the merging car's interest, or for the other ones in front of me.
As God’s word gently spoke to my heart, I felt sorry for my prideful and selfish actions, turning to God in confession and repentance. Like 2 Corinthians 7:10 states, sincere, godly sorrow leads to repentance.
Consequently, with my thoughts elsewhere, I wasn’t paying close attention when approaching the tollbooths and unknowingly lined up behind a red light in a closed lane. Finding myself stuck in a traffic-jam, parking lot type of going nowhere line, I needed someone to let me into a moving line, like the car a few minutes ago had wanted me to do.
Turning on my signal, I hoped someone would be kind. Yet, I thought of how I didn't deserve it after the way I had just acted. Looking in my rear mirror I saw a truck stop and motion to me to pull in front of his vehicle.
Just as immediate as my need to repent had come, I was flooded with the realization of God’s mercy and grace. Like James 4:6 describes, God gives us more grace, showing favor to the humble.
In a few passing minutes in an everyday, ordinary commute, one where I behaved poorly, something extraordinary happened. I experienced God's wonderful grace through a person who lived out thinking more of my interests than his own.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.