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We’re rightly taught to look out for the interest of others, and even in positions of leadership to humble ourselves to serve the needs of others – to wash their feet. But this quickly becomes a point of pride when we’re only willing to wash the feet of others and not allow our own feet to be washed by them.

Peter initially resisted having his feet washed by Jesus. But Jesus said this was the only way for Peter to have a part in what he was doing. And now understanding Peter allowed himself to be washed.

Perhaps our thinking is similar to Peter’s when we consider others serving us, especially when it’s something we can do ourselves. And, to be fair, maturity does call us to take care of our basic needs and not to expect others to do this for us. But it’s likely pride when someone is freely offering to serve us and we refuse. 

On the surface, it’s humble to serve others. But pride sneaks in when we always have to be in the position of helping others and not receiving from them. And so for many it becomes a true practice in humility to allow our feet to be washed. This is not being lazy, but like Peter, it’s humbling ourselves enough to be served while also opening the door for us to participate in something greater. 

Being served reminds us of our need for each other, and ultimately our dependence on God himself. Complete independence is an illusion. And it humbles our pride to allow ourselves to be served. 

It also gives others an opportunity to grow in their practice of love. Why should our false humility deny others the chance to reflect Christ’s love to us?

In the end, it’s good to consider the many ways you can meet the needs of others. But true humility and love also calls for you to allow your own feet to be washed as well. 

Photo by Wikimedia

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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