‘I heard you weren’t feeling so well. I just called to see how you were. Tell me about it. Is there anything I can do?’
We talk and I tell her all about it and she listens for a long time. We talk and talk and finally talk together to God. We pray long and I ask, pray tell, how she found the time to call. She, there with all four of her kids underfoot, moving boxes in the hallway, living in pain herself.
She answers, ‘I just thought it’d be good to think about someone else’s problems for a bit.’
We say goodbye to that sweet moment of encouragement and intercession and hello again to the pain and challenges of a hot afternoon. I scrub vegetables for dinner and remember that this is really the way out of my problems, the way to get over myself is to concerning myself with someone else.
It’s just as Paul Miller said, ‘Using our natural tendency toward self-preoccupation, Jesus gently turns self-awareness on its head. The Golden Rule is a simple prescription for ‘unselfing.”
So many times before it’s been nearly impossible to believe. How could Jesus be fully human and fully free of sin? Really? Not one misstep? Not one?
But, it’s here, with Christ’s Golden Rule that He rules out the possibility of sin. Jesus lived and breathed the Golden Rule. He was always thinking about Someone besides Himself–His Father and His siblings.
With every breath, He was asking, ‘If I were the Father, how would I want my Son to live?’ And among the squabbling and selfish siblings, He questioned, ‘If I were this lost and enslaved, wouldn’t I want an older brother to save me and bring me back home?’
How blind we were to miss the Golden Rule hanging right there on the cross when we cried out:
‘He saved others..but He can’t save Himself.’ Mark 15:31
Exactly. If He had saved Himself, He would’ve loved Himself more than His Father, more than His evil neighbor. But He held His arms steadfast against that wood and He bent His knees and allowed His lungs to collapse.
He knew what love with the Father felt like and He knew if He had lost it as Adam had, He’d just die. And so He died and He lost it so that He could give this love to His neighbors as He loved Himself.
This is the way out of myself, my worries, my pride, my control, my sin. The way out is found in reaching out, thinking less about myself and more about others.
Oh Lord, only You have ever fulfilled the Golden Rule and who can understand what that really meant? You saved all of us and refused to save yourself. You let God rule and died for the rude. This same selfless Spirit lives in us if we believe in You. Would you grow Your Spirit within us? Let us live loving You and our neighbors more than ourselves. You looked to the cross where you saved your neighbors with joy and this is the path for our joy, too.
Help me Lord get over myself by helping me to never get over the Cross.
When I’m tempted to focus on me and mine remind me that the way out of myself is the way toward Calvary. You took up my cross for me, so Lord, give me grace to pick up the cross of others and love my neighbors the way I want to be loved–right toward You.
60 Days of Prayer
Oh friend, would you please take 3 minutes and watch this video about Yemen? I saw it this morning and have been so blessed to carry my neighbors in Yemen with me today in prayer. This country is in such great need of Calvary love. Let’s pray that the Church would bear the cross and love Yemen toward Jesus in our lifetime. If you’re reading this in a Reader of via email, you may have to go to Burning Bushes to watch.