If You Give Your Neighbor a Cookie

If You Give Your Neighbor a Cookie - What does it mean to look not to our own needs but to the needs of others - Read more at the link
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.

Philippians 2:3-4 printable memory verse card
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.

31 Days to More of God's Best

The Intro Stuff

What Does More of God’s Best and Less of the Mess Mean?
How to Get Involved
Where Does the Best Come From?
Free 8×10 Scripture Art Printable of 1 John 4:4b
Guest Post: More of God’s Best in My Life (Krystle)
A Dose of Hope and  Preview of What’s to Come

God’s Best in Your Life

Why Does Loving Yourself Matter?
How Do We Love Ourselves Best?
Eight Things for More of the Best in Your Life
Free 4×6 Scripture Art Printable of John 3:30

God’s Best in Our Families

The Best for Our Families: Why Loving Our People Matters
How to Share God’s Best at Home
Seeing the Beauty in the Undone
Six Things for Loving Our People Well
Dose of Hope: Philippians 2:3-4

God’s Best in Our Community

Why Loving our Community Matters
We Were Made for More
How Do We Love our Community
Dose of Hope: Romans 15:5-6

Wrapping Up

How to Throw an Owl-O-Ween Party
Guest Post: How I See God’s Best in My Life

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4 comments

  1. I love that visual – makes total sense to me and it’s motivating. Plus, Lord knows I don’t need to be stockpiling and eating large quantities of cookies. (ha!)

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  2. Haha…I love that your idealistic situations always involve cookies! Mine involve tea. And pie. Definitely pie.

    This really is a great way to think about this concept of putting others’ needs before your own. It *is* really easy to stockpile, especially when you are always just scraping by (in so many ways, financial and otherwise). I am a gift-giving person by nature–it’s how I say “I love you. You matter to me.” But it’s hard when my resources are limited and I always worry about not being a good steward of what God’s given me. But I just believe so strongly that caring for people and showing them love in whatever way you know how is absolutely vital to living the abundant life God calls us to. So usually I say “no” to the fear and the doubt and the weird looks people give me and just continue to give to the people in my life, even when I’m not always sure how there’s going to be enough to pay the bills in the long run.

    I guess maybe the only way to really live the commands we’ve been given to think of others’ needs more than our own is to believe wholeheartedly that everything we have comes from God–He’s the one who meets our needs, not our bank account or our jobs or our own hard work. Only God. So maybe we can’t be sure the next person is going to be generous and put our needs above their own, but we can always be sure that God’s going to meet our needs out of *His* resources. Which are some pretty serious resources, right?

    I know you’ve missed my overly wordy comments this month, so I’m giving you a big dose of them today 🙂

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    1. Courtney, I would have missed you even more if I didn’t get to see you everyday in our hope group. 🙂

      Yep, totally hear you on how difficult it can be to pass things on when we’re scraping by ourselves and wanting to be smart stewards. I noticed my love language took a drastic turn from gift giving to words of affirmation when I didn’t have anything physical to give. But the downside of that was that I stopped accepting good gifts too once I stopped being able to give them. God’s teaching me to live in that happy medium of being able to both accept and give freely in His timing.

      Everything you say in that third paragraph = total truth.

      Like

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