The age of selfishness

The age of selfishness

The age of selfishness

Ephesians 3:14-20 “For this
cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is
named…
to be strengthened with might by His Spirit
in the inner man
…”

Identity – is about who
I am
; and I believe it is the cry of the human heart to
be known.
I am not saying we want to be known ‘as
perfected individuals or angels’ – I think we desire
to be known (and accepted) as we are, warts and all. That’s
not the end of the story, God loves us too much to leave us that
way. It’s incredible how much pressure comes off a person
when there are no secrets and fears.

The beauty of the scriptural
Christianity is that ‘we are all in the making
– not fully perfected yet, but in the making, none the
less!’

I hear it said that in the West we
make decisions within about 6-7 seconds, whether or not we like
new people we meet. This is, in my view one of the most commonly
perpetrated crimes against humanity, occurring daily.
Furthermore, we have the other end of the spectrum to deal with,
as indicated in adages like ‘familiarity breeds
contempt’ - meaning it is humanly very possible to begin to
take people for granted purely because we have gotten so used to
them being around - we become over-familiar with them. Neither of
these is acceptable behaviour for those who claim to know Christ
Jesus (adhering to the ‘royal law’), regardless of
the fact that institutionalised forms of Christianity encourage
the ‘class divisions.’

The 27 Sept, 98 was a difficult
date for the Smiths. The struggle culminated with the baby of our
family, Debbie taking her own life. It became increasingly sadder
when those of us who dared to believe that God could forgive her
and receive her into His Kingdom (allowing her eternal life) were
rejected and alienated by those who felt this was impossible. It
seemed that it was so important for certain people to maintain
their ‘doctrinal rightness’ that they withdrew from
us.

I still run into people today who
are confused over whether or not God will forgive the sin of
suicide
– the problem seems to be that the person is
no longer around to ask for forgiveness after killing themselves.
I recall the words of Paul in Romans 5:8, “While we were
yet sinning
, Christ died for us.”

Back in 1998, I listened to
numerous discussions around whether or not Debbie was eligible
for forgiveness…for some it was dependant on her frame of
mind at the time, or her possible final prayers to make amends
for her decision. To others it was clean cut, “Murder and
suicide are one and the same thing…”

In hindsight, some people should
have just allowed their hearts to break with the rest of us,
leaving the summation to Father God.

I don’t see Scripturally,
that Christianity was ever intended by God, to have to be
‘proven to the other club members’. When it is
denigrated to this shallow expression, the focus becomes wrong
and the fruit also wrong. Such scenario’s are dangerous and
invariably end in one piece of dust standing in judgement over
another – all based and measured in externals.

The commandment was to ‘love
one another’ – which somewhere got replaced with
‘access one another.’ Access one another whether they
are of the faith.

You’ve heard the statement
– ‘you have to have been there!’ Perhaps
it’s a little bit that way, especially around issues of
ultimacy. No, this is not experiential theology at play. This is
taking the same Scriptures we’ve read for many years and
become familiar with, and allowing our finite minds the
opportunity to hear from the infinite God about ‘His
judgements.’

There exist two strands –
judgement and mercy. Jesus taught us to default to mercy (most
probably because of our human condition - this is the much safer
option). Judgement is to be left to the righteous judge.

People forget what we say, and
what we do – but they never forget how we made them
feel.

We, the saved, and the unsaved are
all human – the difference is: we believers (sometimes
called Christians) acknowledge that our sins are forgiven. And
because we ‘know’ we have been saved by grace, we can
extend the same acceptance to others.

For the glory of God, may we all
get beyond our focus on ourselves.