The Toilet Paper Rolls

Tuesday, October 31, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Who Is On The Lord's Side"1 (Lyrics)

Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (NIV)

My daughter, Mary, was running some supplies into the gas station. As she left with the box, five-year-old Ade asked why Mommy was taking those tiny rolls of toilet paper into the gas station. My first reaction, which I did not act upon, was to burst out laughing. Ade thought that the small, white, round paper replacement rolls for the credit card reader were rolls of toilet paper for the gas station's restrooms. She just couldn't figure out why they were so small!

After I had explained to Ade what she had really seen, though they did indeed look like mini rolls of toilet paper, she felt quite pleased to have learned something new. I know that she will not make the same mistake again.

Later, I told my daughter in private about Ade's question, and we both had a good laugh. But amidst our laughter, I also thought about how important it is not to belittle others when they make honest mistakes simply because they don't have the experience or knowledge to know what they are seeing or saying or doing. Knowing something that others don't should never give us reason to consider ourselves better than they are. Rather, as Paul wrote in today's verse, we should never do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. For when we do, we are actually putting others down. Things that are abusive and hurtful may often close any door which may have been opening in regard to sharing the love of Christ with them.

Instead, in humility, let us ask the Spirit to cultivate within us a spirit of kindness and gentleness to share the knowledge that we have been given, not to build ourselves up, but to build others up, that they might be glad that they have learned something new rather than feel belittled by their mistake or lack of understanding. Such Christlike behaviour opens, rather than closes doors.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You never belittle or ridicule us in our ignorance. Through the power of Your Holy Spirit, guide us to grow and mature and learn about Your ways and love, so that we, in turn, might humbly do likewise to others. In Christ's name, we are thankful. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    How wise! Thanks.

    Thanks, Lynne, for a lesson on the “spirit of kindness.”

    Amen, Lynne! Thanks for sharing this timely reminder. Blessings.

    I wonder what she would have said if they were paper towels. Thanks.

    Lynne, the title of this one certainly draws attention! Thanks for the good advice.

    You nailed it, Lynne! Having a laugh at the cost to another is caustic.

    Lynne, this was so amusing and yet such a great reminder to be humble and share our knowledge with love and acceptance. Thank you!

    Good morning, Lynne.
    Thank you for sharing this cute story and important reminder with us.
    Have a blessed day.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Thank you for your good words, it is indeed good to be kind and gentle.
    May peace be with you and yours.

    Hi Lynne….Thank you for sharing a cute story! “Children are a gift from the Lord….”
    Stay well!

    I woke early this morning, and your devotional was online already. What a message I needed to hear today from God! Thank you for allowing God to use you as a vehicle to carry out His Word.

    Thanks, Lynne, for a good story with encouragement to be humble and gentle, with love in our encounters with others.
    May the LORD bless you as you continue to bless others.

    Oh Lynne, the moment I saw the title of today’s devotional I knew it would be a great analogy writing of yours. You do a fantastic job of connecting simple life experiences with the important and proper ways we need to respond as Jesus would have us do. Blessings for your very special writings and keep enjoying times with Ade close by you.

    SHALOM and BLESSINGS in Jesus’s Holy name.
    Good morning, on this last day of October, a very chilly day, with a dusting of snow, but nothing like the foot of snow near Red Deer!
    Thank you for another interesting and thought-provoking message and prayer. You appear to have the unique ability to take an ordinary, everyday situation in life and turn it into a heart-warming sacred message to help us on our spiritual walk towards our heavenly home. We have used many of your thoughts in our Sermons, which make them more interesting and personal.
    Hopefully, you are enjoying your new location, and climate. I’m sure that you miss Arlin.

    Good morning, Lynne,
    Crazy me. When I started to read your devotional, I thought maybe they were toilet paper rolls with less paper so the people didn’t use too much. That would be crazy because they would always have to be checking the washroom to see if there was paper. I am sure that will give you a laugh.
    It is a very good message to remember that all our experiences and knowledge are different. I made such a crazy jump in my thinking, but of course no one knew it.
    Definitely cultivating the spirit of kindness and gentleness in all we do so that we open doors and not close them is so important. Great message of thinking of others and being respectful is so important, especially in this varied world.
    At the library book club on Saturday we had a new young lady running the gathering. She was very well prepared and did a great job. Most of the participants are older. In this book there were a lot of old cliches which we had heard from our parents as we grew up, but that was not in this girl’s background, so they were new to her, and she was impressed by them. We were respectful; however, this is an example of our different perspectives and how we look at different things.
    We are definitely in to fall, and it will be a cold evening for the trick or treaters, but I know the little ones will not care, only the parents who are accompanying them.

    Lynne – the title of this devotional immediately caught my attention, because we save empty toilet paper rolls for crafts. Now I have also learned a new fact, since I have never viewed the paper source for credit card machines.
    How I do appreciate your skill at drawing me closer to Christ through your everyday insights.

    Hi Lynne,
    Thanks for your “toilet paper” devotional.
    Thanks once more for your writing.


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