The world is selfish place full of selfish people with selfish ambitions. Pride is one of the biggest problems with the world today, often being one of the main motivations behind crime, greed, and injustice. The famous sayings that seem appropriate in describing the mindsets of many range from “look out for number one”, “survival of the fittest”, or even “it’s every man for himself”. Everyone feels like we’re the king of our own little circle of the world and that we should care only about ourselves first. I contend with that idea.
We as individuals must get over ourselves, in every way, shape, and form. And that includes us Christians. Just because we have salvation and heaven to look forward to on the horizon doesn’t mean we’re better than anyone else. In fact, on this earth it means we should be less than everyone else. If Jesus came to this earth “not to be served, but to serve” (Matt 20:28), then why should we be any different? Are we too good to serve? Are we too good to sacrifice? We have become too obsessed with the spotlight in this world, and even we as Christians have fallen victim to it.
We like to paint ourselves as “Super Christians”, who look down upon sinners and immorality and refuse to have anything to do with either. This is a problem. Why? Because the world is changing. No longer can we go door to door and hand out fliers and witness and see people come to Christ like we used to. Why? Because people don’t want to feel like a project, or a checkmark off a list; they want to feel like people. And we aren’t treating them like people. And how do we do that? By serving them, and building relationships with them. So what does this mean? That means we have to get over ourselves. The only thing that separates us from the lost is Jesus, and that doesn’t mean we get a free pass to sit on our high horse and pretend they should be striving to be like us. We should be getting off our horse and going to them.
I heard a man named Jeff Phillips say something that is so simple in it’s reasoning yet so profound in how we respond to it: “We can’t expect lost people to not act lost.” What does this mean? This means if you get invited out to dinner with some lost friends and they’re having a beer and you’re not a fan of drinking, that means you can’t check out on them. Why? Because they’re doing what they know how to do. We are the ones who have to get over ourselves and focus on building the relationship, and not on how it might look to someone walking by. Jesus wasn’t ashamed to be seen eating with sinners, so why should we? If you’re investing in the life of a lost person, not because they’re a project but because you care about them as a person, then you have get over yourself and meet them where they are comfortable.
Be strong in the faith, trust God, and get over yourself. Remember what Matthew 23:12 said: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted”. The way to reach the lost through relationships is through humility, service, and love. So talk to that guy from work, be nice, invite him out to dinner, or accept his invitations to. Use those opportunities well.