If You Give Your Neighbor a Cookie
Last week Steph shared word art of Philippians 2:3-4. In that verse, Paul tells us to look out for the needs of others above our own, and sometimes that is sooo challenging.
But I’ve been thinking about this idealistic situation, and of course it involves cookies, because most idealistic situations do. What if looking out for our neighbors needs was as simple as giving our neighbor a cookie?
Let me explain. I like to think of this verse as all of us standing in a big circle, and someone passes around a bunch of cookies. Now we all have a cookie in our hand. What if we’re asked to pass the cookies to our left. Everyone passes the cookie, and now we still all have a cookie in our hands.
Looking out for our neighbor’s needs in some ways could be as simple as that. If all of us were doing it at the same time, none of us would have to worry about our own needs. Because another cookie is coming our way.
That’s not always how life works though is it? Sometimes we’re afraid to share with the people in our lives, because we can’t be certain that someone else will share with us when a need arises. So instead of passing our cookie to the left when the time comes, we start stockpiling. Now we have two cookies and the person to our left has none.
But some people can’t help it. They just keep passing the cookies to the people on the left. Gift giving is their natural love language. So we keep stockpiling them. Why not? We like chocolate chip a lot and plus what if we get really hungry later and need them? So now we’re stacking up cookies like poker chips and more and more of our neighbors in the circle are turning up empty handed.
This isn’t a political statement. I’m not talking about everyone having the exact same amount of every single thing. I’m not talking about emptying our purses of all of their contents and passing along everything inside of them, too. The Lord knows it’s not a sin to have a few more tubes of lip gloss than our neighbor. I’m just talking about a simple example of a cookie – a small, simple blessing that we could easily share with another. And I’m talking about how God really knows what He’s asking of us when He asks us to look out for the needs of others.
If all of us really did it, none of us would have to worry. Because everyone would be looking out for everyone else.
This life isn’t perfect. I’m not expecting it will be anytime soon. But this verse inspires me to think about those simple small blessings that I could easily share with others in my life, and this visual reminds me that I don’t have to stockpile my cookies. There are many things in life I can pass on when I see another in need of them.
What about you guys? Do you think the cookie analogy makes sense or would you use another example instead? Do you have a favorite way of passing on small blessings?
Original photo of CookiesAndMilk by Bram Cymet (bcymet) from Flickr Creative Commons. Adapted for this post by Stephanie Oh.
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