Merriam-Webster’s defines “individualism” as a doctrine in which the interests of the individual are or ought to be ethically paramount and in a world that is growning more and more individualistic in its cultural outlook, we find ourselves surrounded constantly with themes of self-centeredness, where our decisions are primarily based on a “me, myself, and I” motif.
Many a times, I find myself struggling in the whirlpool of self-centeredness and my pursuits are often, I, I, I … as in ‘I want to be famous’ (popularity pursuit), ‘I want to be rich’ (pleasure pursuit), ‘I want to be the top-most’ (prestige pursuit), ‘I want to be the leader’ (position pursuit), and or ‘I want to be in the one in charge’ (power pursuit).
Sadly, such a culture is not only evident in the corporate world, but is also observed within the church of Christ or even missionary organizations, where church leaders and missionaries have forgotten their purpose of their calling to serve and instead seek to be served. On that same note, it is also imperative for those who have the heart to genuinely serve to ensure that our attitude of service does not trump over the one whom we are serving (God’s people and God himself). Jesus comes before service, which Jesus made very clear in his discourse with Martha over her complaint that Mary her sister sat at his feet, while she was busy serving (Luke 10:38-42). We must be careful, so that our intent to serve is not based on “I”.
Points to ponder:
I am going to ask you to do something for the next few minutes and so please follow through.
Take a minute and think of all the things you do or aspire to do. Now write at least five of those things in a piece of paper, with each statement beginning with “I”. For example, if you seek/desire a promotion, you can say something like … “I need to become the Director or the top-most”. Pause for a moment and read what you have written down. This next step is crucial. Draw a line through (strikethrough) each “I” in the statements that you have written, a little above the horitzontal center of the “I” and a little shorter than that length of the “I”. What you will find is that when “I” has a line drawn through it, it makes the symbol of a Cross. Now read the statements that you have written, replacing the letter “I” with the the words “The Cross” or “Christ”. So for example, the statement “I need to become the Director or the top-most” becomes “The Cross needs to become the Director or the top-most” or “Christ needs to become the Director or the top-most”.
When was the last time, you thought of making a decision where the benefactor was someone other than yourself or your own? It is time to Cross out the I and this one thing is needful (Luke 10:42) – Christ must increase and we must decrease (John 3:30).
John 3:30 (KJV)
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Luke 10:38-42 (KJV)
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.