Have you ever noticed that some mechanics have the most poorly maintained cars on the road? Builders never get around to fixing their own houses and pastors often spend less time praying than any member of their congregation.
It’s a wonderful thing to do good for others; to see the need and meet it. The mechanic fixes the widow’s car, the builder volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the pastor answers every phone call. We see these selfless behaviors and celebrate. “He’s so generous.” “She’s so committed.” “I’m so glad to have a pastor I can reach out to whenever I want.”
And when we look in the mirror, and reflect on our own lives we say things like, “I’m sure God has allowed this in my life so that I can help someone else when they have the same need.”
Somehow, we’ve internalized the notion that others come first.
A missionary friend shared an analogy with me. He said, “I was always so busy bringing cups of water to people who were thirsty, that I didn’t realize how thirsty I was, myself.”
It’s true, we’re called to love others. The fascinating thing is, we’re called to love others as we love ourselves. We can get so busy loving others that we forget that we matter, too.
Sometimes, we think God wants to find, save or transform us solely for the sake of others – for the sake of the ninety-nine. But the reality is, he leaves the ninety-nine for the sake of us.
Can you imagine, Christ leaving the 99; the members of your church, your children or partner, your friends or that family in the neighborhood that’s dealing with crisis, just to find, reach and love you?
“Oh, but I’m doing fine, really.” Christ knows better. He knows every shadow, bondage, addiction, fear, dark corner of shame, heartache and unconfessed guilt that each one of us carries.
Salvation is so much more than a check-box and a job. It’s a living, breathing journey with the God of the universe.
If we’re not on that journey, then we are like the mechanic whose car barely runs, the builder whose house is falling down and the pastor who hasn’t heard the voice of God in years.
So here’s my question; how are you seeking Christ for yourself?