“...and should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from above. If you are traveling with a child or someone who needs assistance, secure your own mask first before helping them...”
It almost sounds contradictory, doesn't it? Getting your own flow of oxygen going before making sure little Johnny or Gramps has theirs. Aren't we supposed to put ourselves second?
Well, sort of. It's like in Matthew 7:3-5: “'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.'”
What good are you going to be if you have this giant chunk of wood in your eye or if you're gasping for oxygen? You hypocrite! A person has no credibility when they're worse off than the person they're trying to help.
What is there to do?
Steps to putting on your ‘oxygen mask’:
- Fill up before dispensing. Read, study, meditate on, and take to heart God's word. You can't draw from a dry well.
- Immerse yourself in prayer. Spend time one-on-one with God. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18a) “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)
- Surround yourself with godly people. There is a fellowship, a lifting up, that happens when you're with fellow Christians that just doesn't happen anywhere else. And you define yourself by the company you keep.
- Arm yourself with the full armor of God: the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Then help your neighbor
Our church in Philadelphia had a sign that was visible only as you were leaving the parking lot. It read, “You are now entering the mission field.” I always thought that was a good reminder, because so often, as we're leaving church, we're just settling back into our regular lives when we should be on fire for God. The world is the mission field—and it begins as soon as you leave church.
Get that oxygen mask on! God's there. He's got your oxygen flowing good and strong. Now breathe and help your neighbor with theirs.
See you in the round,
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.