Thursday, March 10, 2011

There is no "I" in Selfless (or me either)

I think the word 'selfless' needs some serious resurrecting in our culture today.

"If the world despises one of the brethren, the Christian will love and serve him. If the world does him violence, the Christian will succour and comfort him. If the world dishonours and insults him, the Christian will sacrifice his own honour to cover his brother's shame. Where the world seeks gain, the Christian will renounce it. Where the world exploits, he will dispossess himself, and where the world oppress, he will stoop down and raise up the oppressed. If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy, and if the world takes refuge in lies, he will open his mouth for the dumb, and bear testimony to the truth." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Dicipleship

I wish that paragraph represented me; how humble and amazing a life would be lived like that. To truly live with selfless nature, to truly think of your brother before you are concerned about yourself, is just so ... different ... from what we've been taught.

Often when I go spend any decent amount of time at my family's cottage I come back to the city and am just amazed at how noisy the world is. Not just with audible noise, though that is certainly an issue too, but just the noise of being so busy. So much noise and I find myself wrapped up in it days after I return. So quickly the world tries to teach me that it's all about me and my agenda all over again; God is secondary (at the best) in our culture today.

"For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." (James 3:16 ESV)

I want to be that brother mentioned above by Dietrich. However I will be honest, it scares me. Serving God is one thing, but serving others is another isn't it? I can much more easily serve my Lord than I can serve my brother. I suppose in a world where tangibility is thriving, that serving a brother may be easier in some ways, but when it comes to putting someone first in a difficult situation, we often want to protect ourselves first.

It's not completely foreign however. There are even professions such as the secret service (and military for that matter) that will voluntarily take a bullet (literally) for another out of duty. Imagine if we all were attempting to take the bullet for another one of God's children; what a different world it would be.

I learned about being a team as a kid ... imagine if it went beyond the game.


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