Seeking For The Good Of Others
“Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others…..So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24, 31-33, 11: 1
This passage, I believe, addresses perhaps the greatest sin in the Church. Selfishness is a crippling sin. It causes us to focus on ourselves and our own needs; instead of serving and giving to others. Jesus said that loving our neighbors as ourselves was just like the greatest commandment. That means that if we really love God we will serve and treat others by laying down our lives for them. Putting other first is an easy concept, but actually doing it is rare in the modern, and especially Western, church.
Seeking the good of others, instead of our own good should be a foundational aspect of our faith. Jesus came to serve and not be served and Paul echoed that truth in his life and ministry too. Personal sacrifice for the sake of others should be practiced daily in the life of a true Christ follower. However, instead of denying ourselves and taking up our cross (Which Jesus said was a must) and serving others; on most days we end up serving only ourselves. Most “church” goers I come into contact with have little or no practice of denying themselves, and instead of following the words of Jesus they follow the modern mantra of, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.” The prosperity “doctrine”, which I believe is false teaching, has permeated most of the “church” including the mainline denominations to a certain extent.
I find this very sad, but true. However, why should the average “Joe Christian” give to those in need when the “church” he belongs to spends 97% of its income on itself via building expenses and Clergy salaries? That’s right only about 3% of the money collected in the traditional “church” goes to actual, hands on, ministry, missions and helping those in need like widows and orphans. Pure religion rarely exists anymore and the “church” gets fat while our sisters and brothers around the globe are starving.
However, that system that calls itself the church is never going to change. Babylon is a fact of life until Jesus destroys it in the end. Hate the system, but love and rescue the people. So we all need to focus on personal sacrifice and giving directly to those who need it now. Self denial is not an option according to Jesus and neither is caring for others who have a need. So start allowing the Holy Spirit to manage your resources and money instead of the “church” and your own desires. If you would just raise your head away from self consuming activities and look around for those in need, I guarantee you will find just the right person, or persons, to start giving to. Need an idea? Twenty five years ago our housechurch started helping families who lost their homes and belongings to fires here locally. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver!
Kirk Out !