The glorification of self and the constant pursuit to please it drives people away from any type of true faith and closer to the things of this world. It destroys. It separates. It cares about no one. It does not serve. It refuses to be apart of something bigger because it considers itself the biggest, most important, greatest thing. It is the root of so many different forms of evil and terrible atrocities. And the thing of it is, we are all programmed, by our very nature, to serve it, put it on a pedestal, in essence, worship, Self. We can be so Selfish.
But there is a healthy side to Self. It's the side the recognizes the importance of Self in the Body. It's the side that realizes how powerful Self can be when it depends on others. It's the side the recognizes that by ourSELF, we are nothing. By ourSELF, we can accomplish no good or great thing. When we focus on Self, we only end up with Self.
I wonder what would happen if we considered what it means to truly examine what Christ portrayed for us? I think about Paul's words in Philippians 2 that describe Christ's attitude and I find three observations:
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:Be Humble.
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
It is so crazy to think that Christ, considered himself someone who needed to be humbled and accept His Father's mission. He had to put aside his own agenda and forget all of the things that he could have had and recognize the greater mission that was being accomplished. He had to Be Humble.
His entire life was one of servitude to others. Whether it was his family, the people he did carpentry for, or the very fact that he was by nature, GOD and chose to come to this earth, but put in an earthly body, experience the struggle of living under temptation, and complete the ultimate death on a cross, Christ's life was one of complete and utter servitude. It really was never about Him, ever. He chose to Live Selfless.
Jesus made a choice that had only one goal in mind. Every decision that He made on earth had one, single purpose: Glorify God. At no time did he desire to do anything other than that. He made it known that it was all for the glory of God from the very beginning. He lived only to Glorify Him.
As I enter into the summertime of the year and reflect back on the things that have happened this year in my life and my thought life, I'm hard-pressed to not ask the question: What does this all mean? Today, I had a revelation in my car coming back from lunch:
"Geoff, you need to learn what it means to Live Selfless."
I can get so caught up in my own desires, my own time, my own need to be recognized, my own space, that I can very easily forget that it is not about me. A couple of weeks ago, we challenged the students of NMC Student Ministries to truly "Live Differently" now that this school year is over. I'm totally convinced that for Geoff Cocanower, Living Differently will be achieved when I learn what it means to Be Humble, Live Selfless all for the goal of Glorifying Him.
How do you fight Selfish?
What way are you striving to Live Differently?