Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 NRSV
Over time, we've had several pets. On the list were guinea pigs. If you've never had one, they're great. They are low maintenance and fun to watch. In their cages, they had the usual things to crawl through and play with, but their favorite toy was a clear plastic ball you would put them inside, and by their walking, they could make the ball roll across the floor.
Sometimes, it's easy for us to get caught up in the things of value to the world. We become motivated by money, power, and pleasure. It becomes a competition to attain the latest and the best. Our friends and neighbors have something, so we must have at least that, if not better. We are like the guinea pig in the ball. While seeming to move, we are nonetheless trapped.
However, we can live life more fully outside the ball with Christ. He doesn't want us to remain trapped but offers us freedom through salvation. He springs open the door.
While we are to outdo one another, it's not with a competition mindset. The emphasis is not on ourselves but on others. The essential things themselves aren't corporeal but intangible. While we may not be amassing wealth and possessions, we are accumulating items of greater importance, like love and honor.
Most Holy God, thank you for the freedom in Jesus Christ. By his blood, we don't need to remain trapped in the mindset of the world. Help us to share your love freely with everyone and treat all with greater respect than the honor we wish to receive. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.