This passage just cuts right through all the social junk our world feeds us. It breezes right past all the self-help, psychological babble we’re fed every day. It challenges everything our human nature tells us… everything in us whispers, “look out for number one,” “you first, others second,” “what are you going to get out of this?”
But God bursts through the door and says that is WRONG. We’ve been given an example who we’re to follow. That means we are to do what he did. We’re to look after others even if it KILLS US! How contrary to our culture is that? I’ll tell you – it’s completely contrary!
I’ve heard things like, “well I’ll be praying for you that you get the right kid. I heard about a couple who adopted and they got a kid with some disabilities… isn’t that awful?” Well, I guess it’s awful if you’re adopting because you want the perfect little child to make your perfect little family to complete your perfect little American dream. But you want to know what my honest thought was? I thought, “That’s WONDERFUL! This little one who was cast aside because he was viewed as less than perfect and therefore unwanted has been given a family, a home, and a life!” All because a family decided to look after the interests of others as God commands us through Paul. (I should add that healthy babies need homes too and are just as worthy of being adopted as any other baby. But that’s the point… all children are equally worth a home and family!)
This thought applies to every area of life. We tend to consider what we’ll get out of a project before we say yes to service. I’ve been so convicted by this passage lately. To consider others better than yourself, to look after their interests, to give and serve even when it hurts… especially when it hurts… takes great strength, humility, and courage. Oh God… help me – help us. Because we’re being fed a bunch of lies… and we’re taking them in and letting them change our vision… and the world is suffering because of our pride, greed, and selfish fear.