I’ve managed to flip flop over the course of my Christian life. More to the point, it’s been a rough 17 years. I flipped and flopped unintentionally. There were some disappointments. I grew disillusioned with the organized church. Many times, my community of faith let me down. I’m sure they felt the same way, because I didn’t really leave quietly <gulp>. God stepped in when others ran out and I pulled away. People that we love and trust not only fail us, but they often betray and even reject us. When this happens, our spiritual life can feel as though it flipped upside down. We feel like a spiritual flop. In steps Jesus…
God revealed to me this morning that betrayal and rejection by someone else really isn’t my problem. It’s theirs. However, when I choose betrayal and rejection, He reveals it to me.
I read Philippians 2 this morning. I started in verse one and read down through verse 11. (I’ll cover the portion beginning in verse 12 regarding grumbling at another time. My conviction button is already on overload!) I had to put my bible down and say, “Wow.” I was humbled. I was reminded that the least will become the greatest and the greatest will become the least of all. Christ taught the concept of servant leadership when He walked the earth. Paul reinforced it through his teachings. Despite servant leadership being very biblical, we don’t seem to choose it and we certainly don’t seem to live it.
If we are going to be true Christ-followers, if our life is going to be evidence of His love, if we are going to serve others by upholding a community of Spirit, we must have one heart. The only thing that will create one heart in us and unify us is our collective commitment to Jesus Christ, our Lord. In order to collectively affect our world, we must individually allow Him to change our hearts.
When you read teachings in the bible that say, “put yourself aside,” “help others,” “don’t try to get ahead,” or “forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand,” it goes totally against human nature. In fact, it is counterculture. Jesus taught us to do the opposite of what the world teaches. He asks us not to seek fame and fortune, but to focus on Him. When we yield to servant leadership, we are humbled. How humbling! How convicting! How obvious is my guilt of ego!
If we look to Christ as our example, He yielded to God no matter what He faced. He yielded to God no matter what God called Him to do or be. He did what God called Him to do and He didn’t do so with a spirit of resentment or anger. Jesus did not allow the disappointment and disillusionment He faced to rule His heart. He didn’t even let hate take root despite being betrayed, rejected, and killed. Christ continued the path God gave Him; not because other people deserved this level of sacrifice, but because God deserved this level of obedience.
Living the Christian life effectively, accurately, and in a manner that involves ongoing growth is humbling. Living the selfless, obedient life is the only way we not only mimic Christ, but we represent Him fully. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how our world would change if we honored servanthood as opposed to endorsing a lordship mentality?
It is time for me to flip the flop. There have been disappointments. There has been disillusionment; on both sides. There has been pride, anger, betrayal, and rejection on all sides and by all parties.
Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me, friends. Let’s start anew!