Sunday, August 28, 2016

Turning the Mirror Out

If mothering has taught me anything--and it has taught me plenty--I see firsthand how life isn't about me. Despite our cultural standard, our lives should be consumed with sacrifice, dedication, service. Christ didn't nod at his followers and pose comfort as our goal. In the ESV study Bible, the commentary on Galatians 6:2 ("Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ") states our purpose this way: "To 'bear one another's burdens is the supreme imitation of Jesus, the ultimate burden-bearer (Rom. 15:1-3). He has gone to the length of taking mankind's sin [our ultimate burden] and the curse of the law upon himself."

Crawling outside our own comfort-zones, desires, and yes, even our own misery allows us to partake in something Divine. We are saying to those we serve, "It's not just me that matters, but you. You are valuable.You are worth it." And in that assistance, we mirror the humble and kind ministration of our Savior. Philip Yancey says that "the very process of responding to the needy can give a new meaning to life" (The Question That Never Goes Away 53). We find our hope, joy, and purpose in serving as Christ served...even to the point of death--though few will have to encounter that extreme sacrifice. 

Choose to be counter-cultural; choose to be more Christ-cultural in your relationships.

1. Instead of saying, "Look at this; look at me!" say, "Look at you. Look at what He did in you." 
Be a voice of encouragement and hope. Find something to praise in someone and speak it over them.

2. Instead of saying, "So, this is what I want to do. This is what my life looks like," say, "What are your dreams/goals for the future? What are you working toward right now? What is God revealing to you?"
Taking time to ask heart-felt questions and truly listen to the answers.  Asking and listening will acquire more meaningful relationships than you've ever imagined. 

3Instead of complaining about the obstacles in your life, find someone whose situation is raw and painful. Look for their needs and do what you can to meet them. Taking meals to new moms, mowing lawns for the elderly, taking groceries to the poor should be done without any expectation of reciprocity. We aren't doing it to network or earn a name for ourselves. We are doing it for them, for Christ, and for the honor of imitating our Lord. 

Romans 12:13
When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Hebrews 13:16 
    And don't forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

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