Monday, August 9, 2010
P4E.167 Others First Follow Up
In my last post, I quoted Jesus out of Mark 9:
"If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
I used to think that Jesus was warning against thinking too highly of one's self. Looking at it again in context, I think Jesus was actually encouraging His disciples (and us) with a roadmap to spiritual leadership and success.
We hear a lot of Bible teaching at church, but very little in the way of day-by-day application of how it would look to live out what we read there. I hear a lot of expository teaching on who Christ is as opposed to what the "cults" believe. A lot of distinguishing between what "we" believe and what "they" believe. About what "saves" you and what leaves you going to Hell. We hear preaching against abortion and evolution and homosexuality. But, in the end, we hear very little in the way of practical advice and encouragement to be "little Christs."
But, in Mark 9, I believe Jesus was telling the way. He was saying,
"If you want to be the greatest follower of Me, die to yourself. Make yourself last. Serve."
And for us husbands, we have a perfect proving ground. A perfect testing ground for me to gauge how able I am to love in a self-sacrificial way. My marriage. My wife. The question always gets asked, "What if my wife rejects my attempts at Christlikeness?" My response is, "Well, I guess I just found out how Christ feels when His people reject Him."
Did He give up on His people?
Did He express self-sacrifical love conditionally?
Did He withdraw His servanthood and sulk?
Is there such a thing as "Christlike enough" or "too Christlike?"
But, did (does) it hurt Him when He was (is) rejected? It hurt Him enough that He wept over Jerusalem. It hurt Him enough for Him to tell parables about losing a treasure, having a son take his inheritance and leave home, having a son killed by tenants.
We can use the rejection of a wife as an excuse to stop trying or we can feel deeply and continue to serve. My personal experience is that few women do reject their husband's sincere pursuit of Christlikeness.