"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."1
It's an old story but worth repeating: Two friends are hiking in the woods when they come upon a menacing-looking bear walking directly toward them. When one fellow starts to slowly remove his backpack, the other whispers, "What are you gonna do?"
"I'm going to run for it," was his reply.
"But you can't outrun a bear," his pal protested.
"I don't have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you."
As Michael Josephson said in his weekly column, "Everywhere we see people living their lives according to this Darwinian law of the jungle. They see everything as a competition just to find the most extreme tactics to assure their own survival. You've heard the rationales: 'It's a dog-eat-dog world,' 'Eat or be eaten,' 'You've got to look out for Number One.'"2
Wrong! These people end up only outrunning themselves—even if it is eventually!
People who believe in and live by this dog-eat-dog philosophy will die by this philosophy. As it has been said, "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword." And what is the point of being the richest or most successful person in the cemetery? The reality is that we can't take what we gained with us when we die.
But if we honor others and treat them as Jesus would treat them, we can send ahead all that we have legitimately gained—as an investment in eternity—and therein store up riches in heaven.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from ever participating in this 'dog-eat-dog' mentality and practice. Help me rather to be like Jesus in all ways and treat others accordingly. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 12:10 (NIV).
2. Michael Josephson, Character Counts www.charactercounts.org.