Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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Oh, laugh if you will, but when I was in high school, I sang in the chorus. Today, I'm just a backup singer; when I sing, people back up. But back in high school, we had some good times learning our parts, mastering our songs, and performing our concerts. Sometimes, if I was late for our chorus class, I could hear them warming up as I approached the chorus room. And this one warm-up was particularly monotonous: "mi,mi,mi,mi, mi, mi, mi, mi, mi." Don't change stations. I'm done. I won't do any singing. But...
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I do want to have A Word With You today about "The Most Off-Key Chorus of All."
Now, the spelling is a little different, but the most monotonous chorus in the world still sounds the same, when someone's tune is "me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me me." It is the song of our selfishness; a song we sing far too often. It's the most off-key chorus of all! It's when I'm performing as if it's all about me.
Now, we can do better than this if we follow the blueprint laid out in our word for today from the Word of God in Philippians 2:3-8. We're told there, "...in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Now, this kind of self-sacrificing rather than self-seeking is not something we see very much. So we need an example, and we've got one.
The Bible goes on to say, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who...made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant... He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross." God tells us to follow His Son into an attitude that is all about "you, you, you, you" instead of "me, me, me, me." And especially in those moments when, like Jesus in His hours of suffering and dying, selflessness is the most amazing.
Basically, there are certain times when we tend to enter the Selfish Zone, where we act like things should pretty much revolve around us. We slip into the Selfish Zone when we're feeling sick, when we're feeling stressed, when we're suffering, or when we're just really tired and feeling shot. How do I know these are the selfish seasons? Because I have been there way too many times myself!
But the Bible says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." At the time of His greatest pain, His greatest suffering - the time of the greatest suffering any human being has ever experienced, He's carrying the sin of the world - He is dying on the cross and He is still all about others! In the middle of His agony, He's making sure His mother is cared for...He's reaching out to the thief on the cross next to Him, and He's asking His Father to forgive those who crucified Him.
Now, that is how your Savior handles being stressed, how He handles suffering, and it's how He wants to help you and me handle the moments when we just want to think about ourselves. It's at those times when I'm really tired, when I'm really stressed, when I'm really not feeling good, that I have to reach beyond my feelings and say, "Dear Lord, give me the grace to still think about others when I feel like just thinking about me." In other words, "Jesus, would you please help me, because I want to be just like You!"