Tuesday, August 02, 2016

"W I I F M ?"

2nd Corinthians 3.5b-6 NIV

“…our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Laws are mostly good. They impose standards and exert force to insure a safe and secure environment free from the chaos of anarchy. But laws alone, even good laws, cannot produce a community that functions well. The real glue that holds society together is God Himself. He created us and placed in our souls a desire for healthy relationships with Himself and others. We all want, at our core, to live in harmony with the Creator and His creation.

But there’s a problem... ‘self’ creeps in and the needs of ‘self’ become more important than the needs of others. We can easily disguise self-centeredness by establishing highly defined personal boundaries and misapplying concepts like:
  • self-actualization
  • self-confidence
  • self-awareness
  • self-esteem
  • self-love
‘Self’ remains at the center of all these pursuits and the common good plays second fiddle to ‘W I I F M ?’ (What’s In It For Me?).

Our culture doesn’t help. The preoccupation with what is falsely promoted as ‘spirituality’ contains elements of self-centeredness that virtually guarantees culture’s demise. The American ideal of ‘doing my own thing’ or ‘following my heart’ is a culture-wide reaction to the legalism imposed by earlier generations. Yet, even our best efforts and altruistic endeavors only serve to mask a rebellious spirit. Without God we can never create the enlightened society we seek no matter how noble and humanitarian we consider our motives and actions to be.

We must want to do what is in the best interest of those around us, even if it means our own personal discomfort and sacrifice. Humanly speaking, this is impossible. The decision to put others first... ahead of ‘self’ requires the miraculous intervention of the Holy Spirit. We cannot demonstrate true selflessness on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to behave like Jesus.

“...the Spirit gives life”.

We need Jesus. He is the life the Spirit imparts. Absolute adherence to any legal standard is a hope-killing illusion. But the Spirit of God can fill us with Jesus who alone makes it possible to live outside of ourselves and for the benefit of others.


Von Draco said...

This was good Dave - We cannot demonstrate true selflessness on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to behave like Jesus.

This is something I thought I had at one time, but in fact I have learned that me thinking I was selfless was in fact being selfish all along. To do something so you will receive a “complement” or what I call an “at u boy” is not doing something for a person or in God’s honor. You end up doing it for yourself and expect the affirmation from who ever it is you’re helping. I love affirmations, I do, but I am learning how to receive those from our Heavenly Father now.

Bro, Danny

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi Danny,

Getting your affirmations from God alone is sometimes our only option. It fosters trust and dependence Him whose approval is the only approval we ultimately need.

I really appreciate your thoughts, Danny.