Have you ever heard of a one upper? You know, “Oh that Molly is such a one upper!” For those of you who don’t know, a one upper is someone who always has to one up a comment or a situation. For example, I would say something like, “Dang, today was a long day, it felt like my class would never end.” A one upper would respond with something like this, “Yeah, me too, I not only had THREE classes that felt like they would never end, but my watch literally broke, stopping time altogether, making an even longer day for me!” Okay, a wee bit of an exaggeration, but I’m sure you get the picture.
I have a new appreciation for one uppers, as we have been working at Bright Hope School. I have come to the conclusion that not all one uppers are negative, in fact many of them serve as healthy competition for us to aspire to be better, to do more, to serve always, to love unconditionally.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 says;
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. For that is indeed what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you brothers to do this more and more”
We are taught to love one another, but we are urged to do this MORE and MORE.
So what does MORE and MORE look like? More and more can look like a lot of different things, whether it be a grin from ear to ear followed by a handshake and a “selam” as we enter the compound of Bright Hope, or a random “I LOVE YOU” from the workers as we cross paths. This loving or this encouraging attitude leads to a friendly competition, a healthy competition to shower love on the students, the staff, the workers, and our team members.
Paul writes in Romans 12:10;
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
This attitude of one-upping leads to others striving to one up us. In watching how the people here show love and express love I want to one up them, I think we all as a team want to one up them. I know every time I walk through the gates of Bright Hope or walk past someone on the streets both back home or in Addis; I want to love them like Jesus loves me, I want to encourage them like people encourage me, I want to outdo them so they can outdo me so that I can outdo them (see the pattern there?), I want to become a one upper.