#faithbites #faithjourney Us
When I was in High School, I did Lincoln-Douglas debating. It is a style of debating where you have one topic and each debater takes different sides of the argument. I really enjoyed. One topic that sticks with me, 25 years later is: “Laws that protect people from themselves are justified”. This topic was about laws such as seatbelts, drugs, and motorcycle helmets. While we had to prepare for both sides, I usually took the side of no, they aren’t justified. As and adult, I think I’m changing my mind. Sure, I’m still Libertarian, where my rights extend as far as your rights, but I’m more open to the idea of community value than self.
If I haven’t lost you yet, stick with me. In today’s hyper-individualized world, think Burger King “Your Way Right Away” and “the Customer is always right”, we can get lost in self. Our job as Christians is self sacrifice for the good of others. When we focus on self, the us that is community can get lost.
Do you focus on your own needs or the needs of the community?
When I think about our country and the protests against masks, I don’t get it. Sure, I hate wearing them, but it if protects others, I’m game. It’s like wearing a seatbelt. It protects me from getting hurt if others crash into me, or if I crash into others. I remember back in the 80s when wearing seat belts became law. There were uproars about it. Same in many states where helmets are the law for motorcycle riders.
Do I think there is a balance between self and society? Sure. If we look at our scriptures, is clearly says to put the needs of others first. To outdo one another in showing honor. To seek the good of our neighbors.
This isn’t whether we should open up or not. No one says we shouldn’t. The question is how and when. If we focused more on each other, than on our own wants and needs, where would we be?
For me, I want to give as much, be as helpful, and take as many precautions as possible to help my brothers and sisters. For us to get there, we need to think about community over self. We aren’t saying give us on self, but to focus on others first.
Think about your opinions and actions lately. Are they focused on advancing yourself or the community/others? Find a way in the next few days to focus on the needs of others first. God will take care of your own needs and wants.
Father God, there are as many different opinions on everything as there are people. The one constant is you. Lord, help us to come together and focus on the community and not on our interests. We know that if we focus on your plan and your people, you will take care of us. Help us move away from the society of self to a society that cares for everyone. We know this is how you want us to live. When we fail, which we will, please forgive us and grant us your peace. In your glorious name, Amen.