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A Christianity not about me

John 13:3-4, 12-17

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had handed all things over to Him, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, *got up from supper and *laid His outer garments aside; and He took a towel and tied it around Himself. Then, when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’; and you are correct, for so I am. So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example, so that you also would do just as I did for you. Truly, truly I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

How many times a day do you think about others? Not about what others think about you, but what others around you need. Many of us live our lives consumed with ourselves that we fail to see that we are a part of something bigger even if we would say that we know we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Since the Enlightenment philosophy has told us that life is all about pleasure, and/or power, and/or sex. We now live in a world where those are the three goals of life. To have a comfortable life, to have to power to control your life and other’s lives, and to have a lot of relationships, whether those are romantic or not, both types of relationships apply. We could say that these three things make up the American dream.

The thinking of the Enlightenment has invaded Christian thought and now we assume God should give us the American Dream. When we pray, we lay out a laundry list of our problems and demand God to fix them, and when life gets hard, we question God’s faithfulness. We go to scripture demanding that we get value out of it and expect scripture to tell how to have a successful life and many pastors use the Bible as a self-help book.

However, the thinking of the Enlightenment, the all about me mentality, is not the thought process of the Bible. The Bible is not trying to make us successful, but the Bible is pointing us to the creator of the universe in order for us to know Him. Many “church hurt” stories are because the church did not cater to this person’s needs and they assumed that’s why the organized church existed.

In today’s culture, because victims get help, we all play victim. We all claim we are victim to something. Simply because even in Post-Christian America and world, the human rights that Jesus introduced helps victims. We know as victims we have to take responsibility to help, instead the world is responsible for help us. Playing victim relieves us of being responsible and allows us to ridicule anyone who does not cater to our every need.

In the verse that began our discussion, Jesus gives us an example that we should not be playing the victim. Rather, we should serve everyone around us and be prepared to help the actual victims and outcast. Rather than sitting at the table demanding someone to serve us like the disciples in this moment were doing, we need to get up, pick up a towel and servant clothes and serve others.

We are not entitled to anything; we deserve nothing. No matter how much pleasure or power you receive from playing victim all your life, you will never be fulfilled as you could be if you stepped out and served others. True fulfillment in life does not come from getting whatever you want. Fulfillment comes from being able to make a real difference. We must get our hands dirty. We must get out of the stands and serve others. Get out of your own world today, step out, and help someone else. By helping others, you will receive everything you are searching to get out of life.

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