Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! (Romans 12:16 NLT)
Does God make ordinary people?
Doesn’t He think we are all special?
Who decides who the ‘ordinary people’ are anyway?
Other versions use the term ‘nobodies,’ or people ‘of low position’ instead of ordinary. None of these terms sound like terms God would use for one of us- His created.
It was at this point in my contemplation that I began to wonder if this was what I was meant to consider: are there actually ‘ordinary people,’ or do we just decide in our flawed state who we think is ordinary?
The phrase ‘enjoy the company of ordinary people’ is right there after; ‘live in harmony with each other,’ and ‘don’t think you know it all.’ Perhaps it is us who attempt to put people in places of superiority and also decide if someone is ordinary, a nobody, or not worth our time? How sad.
It comes back to our need to grow in humility and unity as in ‘faceless worship’ (Romans 12:3) and ‘teamwork, unity- a touchy subject’ (Romans 12:5). I would go one step further are say much of our life of worship hinges on these two characteristics; humility and unity.
Are we walking humbly- not thinking of ourselves more highly then we ought, knowing that we can only operate in the gifts God gives us- they are of no merit to ourselves personally?
And are we walking together, unified- because these are no prizes for lone strangers?
Humble people ask questions, they don’t assume they know it all and they’re always ready to learn something new. Our own pride can hold us back from asking questions. “What if people think I don’t know the answer, that I am ill equiped?
I used to worry what people thought about me if I revealed my lack of knowledge in the form of a question. The interesting thing is that generally I didn’t know the answer and I was ill equiped. I just couldn’t get over myself and humble myself enough to ask someone else what they thought- to call on their expertise. And as a result I never moved beyond where I was.
At school I was ‘that kid,’ always holding up lessons with my endless questions, annoying other students and possibly the teachers. I was lucky at home that both of my parents seemed to enjoy giving me elaborate answers to my steady stream of enquiries. I was just generally curious. As I got older I lost I replaced curiosity with the need to feel like I had it all together.
A wise person asks questions. They may even feel that they know the answer but, until you’re secure and humble enough to ask, you will never have the opportunity to learn or ‘update’ your point of view. There is a depth that we begin to walk in when we understand where others perspectives. We may not personally agree with everyone but we gain insight from taking the time to engage and understand others.
I will never forget the first time that a leader of mine asked my opinion on something. My first thought was- oh goodness, they don’t know what they is doing- they are asking me for help! This quickly turned to they think I have something valuable to say they is waiting for my wisdom ready to do whatever I say.
Needless to say neither of these thoughts were correct. My leader was not lost, nor were waiting for my direction (haha). They were just genuinely interested in what others (me) had to say, they were open to listening and learning. It wasn’t about the outcome, by asking me what I thought my leader was valuing me as a person.
Only a secure person is comfortable to big questions. They are not worried what people think of them, they know that there is something that they can learn from anyone.
It’s a clear message of instruction that we receive in Romans 12:16.
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Value another person today by asking them what they think. If we are open we may just learn something. Either way we will add value to them and possibly make their day.
On that note- what do you think?
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