Give Yourself to Others …

The implications of discipleship

Posted on: 2008/10/03

My preoccupation with loving others the way Jesus loved me began many years ago, but it started small and just kept percolating until it boiled over.

A young friend asked me how I keep the focus on that issue.
I don’t claim any special revelations or special insights.  I took note of the point many years ago — probably in my 20’s — but I successfully ignored its complete implications until only the last few years.
My wife and I are in our late 50’s, and partially as a result of our age, partially for other reasons, we mentor a number of individuals and couples in their 20’s and 30’s.  We’re also active in the marriage ministry of the congregation where we worship.
What constantly grabs our attention is how many relationship issues are driven by one person not doing what the other person thinks he/she should be doing.  That is, individually, we impose our view of things on what others should do.  That’s a truly selfish point-of-view.
I’ve become personally convinced that self-centeredness is at the core of sin.  That’s where we get off track.
Even in our view of salvation — because to convince myself that I’m right with God, I want you to see spiritual things exactly the same way I see them.  That way, we can both be more confident that we’re okay with God.
But, God says we stand before him individually, not as a group.  And when we stand before him, we’ll all be guilty.  None of us deserve salvation.  None of us has a right to salvation.  But God loves us and forgives us.  And that makes us okay with God.
My failures may be similar or different from yours, but either way, we’re both failures.
So, all I can do is try — try to love others the way Jesus loves me.
And I have to think about that everyday, with every person, in every situation.  It’s really a complete pre-occupation.
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1 Response to "The implications of discipleship"

Amen. It is precisely our fleshly nature that chooses nothing but to love ourselves over others. It is my contention that no one on this planet needs to “love themselves more”. It is the opposite that is true. It is that we love ourselves so much that we are miserable. Loving others, and I mean that 1Cor. 13 love that can be such a challenge, is what we are called to do. It is only then, with the proper motivation being to glorify God, that we can have the wonderful side effects of loving others such as joy and peace with God and others. What a wonderful and powerful thing true love is and how little we tend to practice it. Oh that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us is the love that passes all understanding. That we would do the same and lay down our lives for His glory.

Dan

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