Wednesday, September 4, 2002
Our son-in-law loves to ski, even though he doesn't get to do it all that often. And like everything else he does athletically, he really goes for it when he skis. But his last time on the slopes was different from all the other times in his life. See, for the first time, he has a son! And his little baby boy was on his mind when he was on the slopes. When we asked about his ski adventure, I got the distinct feeling that he didn't take the risks he's taken before. Actually, here's the way he put it. Moving his arms in skiing form as he said, "I just kept saying, 'I'm a Daddy. I'm a Daddy. I'm a Daddy.'"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "The 'Others' Factor."
It's interesting how responsibility can change the way we live - or how it should change the way we live. Like a certain skiing father I know, you do some things differently when you start thinking about how it could affect people you care about - people you very appropriately feel responsible for. In essence, you start living God's way when you no longer approach life as if it's all about you.
Designer living is described in our word for today from the Word of God in Philippians 2 beginning in verse 3. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but 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. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." The passage goes on to say that although Jesus was God, He "made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant...He humbled Himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross."
You're a follower of Jesus. Jesus' example is one of total selflessness, total self-forgetfulness. If you're full of yourself, you're not full of Jesus. You're not really following Him. Maybe the pain of your life has made you pretty full of yourself and your needs, or maybe your ambitions have, your overload, or your background.
But the Jesus-revolution in a person takes that person from skiing down life's mountain with only themselves in mind to skiing with others in mind. It could be right now that you're in a pattern of doing what you want, what you feel, what you need - and you're leaving behind some wounded people, some neglected people, some disillusioned people. You've been wondering what's wrong with them. Maybe what's wrong with them is what's wrong with you. You just haven't been thinking about what some of your choices, your actions and your attitudes are doing to the people you love.
We can't just think about ourselves. Skiing with abandon at top speed may feel good to you, but what about the people who need you, who look to you? What could it do to them? Maybe you're running your life to get what you want, to do what you want, to do what feels good to you, but what are you doing to your husband, to your wife, your son or your daughter, the people you influence spiritually?
Jesus is calling you to live with the "others" factor in mind - to live the way He showed us to live. As you ski your course, you need to hear yourself saying, "I'm a Daddy." ... "I'm a husband." ... "I'm a leader." ... "I'm a representative of Jesus." A life that's just about you is a life that's way too small. When your life's about others, you're finally into the real adventure!