My CFO used to say, “There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind of people who say there are two kinds of people, and those who don’t.” I guess I’m the former. I believe there really are two kinds of people: those who are focused on themselves and those who care about others.
Consider the things we Christians say:
• “I have my faith”
• “I have my church”
• “I have eternal life”
• “I have the Holy Spirit”
• “I have God’s Word”
• “I have my small group”
• “I have peace”
How many times did you hear “I”?
Without thinking, we devolve into a faith that’s all about us. It’s sacred selfishness. And it’s not what Jesus modeled or talked about.
Jesus gave his life away for others. He was “others focused” and never “I” focused. And when he revealed his purpose statement in John 10:10b…“I have come so that they might have life, and have it to the full”, he was telling us that the abundant life…the full life begins when we turn our attention to the needs of others.
In our culture of silo living, where work, church, neighborhoods, and friends are so segmented from each other, it’s easy to withdraw into the safety of our family and the people we have to serve. But when we ask God to bring someone into our lives who needs something….needs food, needs financial help, needs counseling, or maybe just needs a friend who’ll listen to them, He might just answer your prayer. And you might just get a taste of the joy that comes from focusing on the needs of others vs. your own.
Generally speaking, I can’t be the answer to my own prayer – - But I might be used by God to be the answer to someone else’s prayer.
Sacred selfishness is an oxymoron.