This post is an excerpt from our homepage, but I wanted to make it a separate blog too because I think most everyone subsribed to our blog, just comes in here, or reads the blogs in a reader. Enjoy!
What should a Christian blog look like? That’s a fair question. I’ve noticed a tendency in the Christian blog-o-sphere that’s disturbing. Part of the reason it bothers me is because it’s so easy to subscribe to and I’ve been guilty of it myself. Maybe you’ve seen it too. Maybe, like me, you’ve even given in to it from time to time and you’re tired of it like I am. It’s the need to always be right, the need to be first and to always have my say. It’s the need to be heard and given more air time. But all of those “needs” stem from pride.
Instead of building up, I’ve seen a number of Christian blogs that seem more interested in saying their piece and being heard, many times at the expense of hurting others. I don’t want to be that way. Do you remember what Jesus told his disciples when they began to covet first place, reputations for themselves, and a prideful status? We’re told,
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
That way of thinking is upside down to what the world thinks and would have us do. The upside down-ness of Jesus’ kingdom means that the race is for the bottom, not the top. It’s a race to serve others, not to be served. And that attitude of service and otherness should overflow into our writing and blogging. I serve a King in an upside down kingdom who has told me that my attitude should be to serve others and to be OK with being last. But more than OK. I should find my joy, contentment, and satisfaction in humility and a humble attitude (Philippians 2:3-8). In Jesus’ kingdom, the race is on. But it’s a race to hear, not to be heard. It’s a race to listen, not to speak (James 1:19-20) because when I am driven by an appetite to have my say and be heard, it often stirs up anger and animosity as James points out.
In the gospel of John, were told of an incident where some of John the Baptist’s disciples were being questioned about how they felt that Jesus was making more disciples than John was. Remember this?
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:26-30)
Can you see how this accusation was designed to tease out the pride of John’s disciples? It would tease out mine! “There’s someone out there who’s having more ‘success’ than you’re having.” But John’s response is simple, to the point, and an accurate reflection of a life marked by humility in God’s upside down kingdom. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is life in the kingdom. It’s less “I” and more “he”. It’s more concern for Jesus’ glory than my reputation or need to be heard. It’s a race to the bottom where true servant-hood begins.
Here’s good news that should liberate us from the bondage we sometimes find ourselves stuck in: the Christian life isn’t about me. My performance, sanctification, and progress in the faith aren’t at the center of the story. Jesus is. What he did for me that I could never have done for myself is at the center of the story and I no longer need to be preoccupied with gazing at my own spiritual navel and worrying about how I’m coming along. Jesus loves me today. Right now. Just like I am. He doesn’t love some future version of me. He loves me right now. So much so that he died for me! That’s the good news of the gospel and only that good news can free me from my own me-isms. The good news of the gospel frees me from gazing at my own performance and sanctification as the source of my joy and assurance and instead, I can fix my eyes on Jesus and off of myself while life happens (Hebrews 12:1-2)