Wednesday, September 16, 2009


What's In It For Me?

Milt Stanley recently linked to two posts with one very common denominator. One on why we "serve":
It would seem that some think to surrender to Jesus, but have the mistaken notion that they can do what they want as far as service is concerned. But God wants us to be humble enough to admit that we aren’t right to have the mentality of, “If I decide to serve I get to do it my own way”. That isn’t service that is selfish. You may sacrifice time, money, talent, or whatever but still not sacrifice your will. “Okay I’ll serve but you still aren’t going to tell me what to do”, is the intent of the heart.
And the other on how we do evangelism:
A few days ago I was listening to a Christian radio station. During one of the breaks between songs the DJ read something about building relationships with people. One of the things he mentioned was that people are by nature selfish. Therefore, if we want to build a good relationship with them then we need to appeal to their desires and interests; we must center the conversation around them. He continued reading the list naming several good qualities as long as vices and how we must respond to them. At the very end he said by doing these things we will have influenced them for God.

Are we really influencing people for God if we cater to their sinfulness and “build a relationship” based upon this premise? This question extends far beyond the assertions of this Christian DJ. This question is crucial to our methodology of outreach. We know that people like sex and violence…so should the church have an MMA night or send fliers heralding “Learn Great Sex”?
This reminds me how terribly, terribly corrupt we really are. NONE OF US do much of anything without asking "What's in it for me." And yet, Christianity asks exactly the opposite of us.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; - Phil 2:3
When you think about it, you truly wonder why anyone would ever have anything to do with Christianity. Often times they do not, becasue often times we warp the message of Christianity precisely to appeal to self-interest. That is how these posts are related on the deepest levels.

There are two things that are important to remember in all this. One, we were created for these levels of selflessness, not the selfishness that so marks our lives. Our lives get better when we live in concert with the command of the apostle quoted above. And that, dear friends is what will, in the end, "sell" the gospel. Not "spinning" it to make it appear more self-interesting, but by living it and letting its true power be apparent. And so the selfish servant of the first post actually results in the selfish evangelism of the second.

Christianity is radical stuff. It is time we practiced it radically.

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