Friday, August 6, 2010
P4E.166 My Dad Always Said: "Others First"
When I'm gone, I hope that my sons will remember me for saying, "Others first." This is the quintessential Christian message of love and self-sacrifice. When the rubber meets the road, it's not an easy sell on this one. It goes very contrary to American culture, which says: "get ahead," "you've got to look out for numero-uno, because no one else is going to," "second place is last place," and "nice guys finish last."
The idea of "others first" carries a spiritual value that is at direct odds with worldly values. I've come to believe that spiritual maturity can be gauged by how able one is to put others first. When we are babies, all we can think about is "I'm wet. I'm hungry. Feed me and make me comfortable." Around about two, especially if we have a sibling, the idea of "sharing" gets introduced. For most of us it doesn't go over very well at first. As time goes by, we become more and more aware of others and (in my view) we grow more mature. In this sense, Christ reached full maturity when He died on the cross and bore our sins onto Himself. The ultimate self-sacrifice.
Like I said, it's not an easy sell. But, I find it invaluable in marriage. Scripture is pretty clear about the self-sacrifice God expects from husbands. Marriage is an incredibly valuable testing ground for gauging how well I'm doing at dying to myself and preferring my wife's values, opinions, desires, goals and life over my own. It's the ultimate "others first" test. God help me to succeed.
"If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Jesus