I grew up on a cotton farm and by the age of four or five I was ready to help out with some of the farming duties. The day arrived when I was to go to the field and “chop” cotton along with my mother and sister. Now I had heard about chopping cotton, but had never really paid any attention, and didn’t know how it was actually done. Because I was always too busy playing and having fun.

When we arrived at the field, my mother assigned a row of cotton to me. The cotton plants were still small, planted in rows stretching a half mile. I began literally chopping cotton, and had cleared out about twenty feet of the plants when my mother grabbed me. It was a definite surprise to me, but chopping cotton didn’t mean chopping cotton, it really meant hoeing out the weeds around the cotton plants.

We can become caught up in our own lives and our own agendas to the extent that it causes misunderstandings. Someone meaning well tells us one thing, and we interpret it as meaning something else. We think we’re “chopping cotton” but actually we may be destroying the crop. In Philippians 2:4 the Bible says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” The NIV translates it as, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

To keep from destroying the crop of spiritual growth in the lives of other Christians we must look beyond ourselves, and consider what is best for them.

(Look beyond yourself.)

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