One central element of making disciples – may that be in your own family, if you are a parent, or among individuals with different cultural preferences – is the call to give ourselves away. This ability is what we call to follow Jesus Christ in humility.
It’s not easy.
It’s not pain free.
Consider these words of the Apostle Paul:
From 1 Thessalonians 2,
5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
From 2 Corinthians 8,
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
From Philippians 2,
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
To follow Jesus Christ in humility means to go where He would and love those whom He would love. It’s going through life following His preferences and not what our particular version of human culture dictates.
But our sin would like to have it in a different way.
It is very cleaver, and provides cheap imitations of this giving-yourself-away demand of discipleship. Many times these imitations have a high content of truth but, at the end, they are center on what we prefer and not on what would clearly show He is at work in us. These alternatives rob God of the glory He alone deserve and, in the long haul, they are not for the benefit of those we are serving.
To know who is really leading – either sin or God the Holy Spirit – your effort to follow Christ in humility, ask yourself…
- Am I decreasing? The luster of your own cultural preferences should be on the decline.
- Is He increasing in me? Your priorities, preferences, desires resemble more and more His.
- Am I OK with this transformation? You are not only OK with it, but you desire to see more of it.
CALL TO ACTION
Pray for insatisfaction. Ask Him to allow you not to be satisfied with what your human culture says you should be, but with a deeper love for Him and for those around you.
Remeber His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity