Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Putting Others First (David Kilpatrick)

Once again this evening, the lesson comes from my good friend, David Kilpatrick. Please keep me in prayer as I continue my work in Vietnam!
In Philippians 2:3-4, in the midst of a discourse on the humility of Jesus, Paul writes: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”
In the years when Steve and I taught together at Georgia Christian School, we had as students some of the children of a couple who lived these verses better than anyone else I have ever known.  Morris and Bobbie Copeland ran a carwash in Valdosta and had five children of their own, the youngest of whom was in high school.  In addition, they had adopted three preschool aged nieces and nephews to get them out of a rough situation.  With the addition of a son-in-law, and minus one daughter in college, they all lived in a double wide trailer home. 
I got to know them better when I asked if I could take the three little ones to the movies.  I love Disney movies, but felt out of place as a single adult in a theater full of kids, so I would “borrow” someone’s kids to take with me.   I took the Copeland trio three or four times, and after sending one of the older daughters with me the first time, Morris and Bobbie entrusted them to me on my own.  We had a lot of fun, and it let me feel that I was helping out in some small way. 
Looked at from the outside, it would seem that the Copelands would be a family in need of occasional help, but they never saw it that way.  On the contrary, they were usually the ones who first helped, then called on others to help, when someone else at church was in need.  Their children were a pleasure to have in class, and they always seemed content no matter what the situation.  I have not seen them in many years now, but I have often drawn inspiration from the memories of their selflessness, humility, and kindness, and they are my first thought whenever I read the Philippians 2, one of my favorite passages in scripture.  I have seen God’s word come to life, and I am grateful that I had the privilege of seeing it up close. 
God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

No comments: