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phone selfie“Honey, I want to pop into the Verizon store for just a second to check out the new iPhone 6S. I might be eligible for an upgrade. I’m not going to buy it today—just take a peek!”

She gave me the look that said, Yeah, I know what that means.

I assured my wife, “Really, I’m not going to get anything today. We have a few minutes to kill, and I’m just curious.”

“I know you.” she says, “It won’t be a quick detour, and it’s our day off together.”

An hour later I’m walking out of the store, bag in hand, new phone on my hip.

First mistake: I made my “need” more important than Laura’s and broke a promise not to do business on my one day off with her.

But the saga continues . . .

While waiting to get my phone activated (this was about thirty minutes into the detour), I’m tapping out a beat to a song on the store counter. I have two annoying “musical” habits: I whistle (a lot and involuntarily), and I use my hands to play percussion on counters, steering wheels, handrails, or anything else available.

The salesman at the counter asks, “Are you musical?”

“Why, yes, I am! I play percussion, the trumpet, the sax, the guitar, and a host of other lesser things like the Irish Whistle and harmonica.”

He smiles. I continue.

“Yeah, my dad brought a trumpet home when I was in third grade, and I’ve been involved in music ever since.”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Second mistake: My arrogance led me to give TMI to a guy who probably regretted asking, and I never even thought to say to him, “How about you?”

Fast forward to about 3 a.m. the next morning when I woke up to pee, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart (yes, I did use the word “pee” in the same sentence with God).

“Kurt, life is so much more than you realize at times. It’s not just about you and what you want; it’s about others.”

phone others

Embarrassingly, this is a lesson I continue to learn the hard way.

I missed an opportunity to show my wife (and show is always better than tell) how much she truly means to me.

I missed an opportunity with the Verizon salesman to turn the conversation from me to him and thereby show him that he mattered to me and, more importantly, to the Father.

Sadly, when I make my world mostly about me, I miss a lot of great opportunities to be more like Jesus, who said, “I didn’t come to be served or to get my needs met by others. I came to practice the gift of otherliness for the sake of love. In fact, I came to sacrifice my life for others.” (Matthew 20:28, Unauthorized Bubna Paraphrase Version)

phone show tell

With Jesus, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the One. With me, not-so-much sometimes, and my phone upgrade wasn’t worth the relational downgrade.

Time to find my wife and apologize. Thankfully, she’s a pretty amazing woman who is full of grace.

When it comes to putting the needs of others before your own: Choose well. Live well. Be well.

phone Jesus

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  1. Oh friend I’m glad I’m not the only one. Great article and well written.

    I was just telling Tim the last few weeks I’ve felt on a short leash with God. He made a joke and said “Well maybe you need to be!” We both laughed, anyways.
    I’m more aware of my sin than ever. Not feeling condemned, just really aware. I believe we are entering into another season of humility. Many blessings!

  2. Thank you for your words..& your paraphrasing Gods words for us sinners to get!!! I am thankful your gift of speech is out there for us to hear!
    Thank you for being you, sir! I REALLY do appricate you.

  3. Thanks so much for the great words and great timing . I have to work on this daily and knowing I am not the only one helps me. I am blessed by your message! Thanks again.

  4. Thanks for being so transparent, Kurt. I think we all struggle with this issue at times (I know I do). I’m grateful for Jesus’ grace and mercy on a daily basis. 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this and being so real with us. I really admire that about you. In the last couple of months God has really been speaking to me to show my kids how important it is to serve others before yourself. We are raising a “me” focused generation and that needs to change. Our family came up with the plan for us to choose a charity once a month to go n serve. Our family is going to serve at City Gate for Thanksgiving. I’m so excited to see what God is going do in all of our hearts and to bless the people that we serve.

  6. This is so me, I don’t even realize it when I am doing it. I have been working on it. Thanks for the reminder Kurt. I will say, “You are loved” before you can, brother. Peace…

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