Does your “I” cause you to stumble?
As we continue our trip through the Bible, and now in the Gospels, we read Matthew 18:9 “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you.” Is our “eye” ever really the cause of the stumble, or is it perhaps our “I”? Don’t many of our personal, political, social and cultural problems stem from the “Flesh“ or the nature of man to put “I“ first? The fall of man in Genesis 3:4 “your eyes will be opened and you will be like God”. The serpents’ temptation of Eve, was all about her “I’s” not her eyes. She wanted to be like God. Ever since, throughout history, we all in some form or another, put our “I’s” ahead of God.
Even though my/our “I’s” have been opened, I am not/ we are not God. Satan’s scheme has been to separate us from God by selling us the idea that “we” can do it without God. Ultimately though, all of man’s (and Satan’s) “I” plans are destined for failure, always have been always will be. See Judges, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, etc. God’s plan, on the other hand, is perfect, sovereign, will not fail, and we know how it ends. You can read my post on the “Futility of Kings” here.
What is the Focus of Your “I”s
When what “I” want is my focus, I become vulnerable to the temptations of the adversary. To the fear tactics of politicians and others. Our culture has convinced us that we should put ourselves first. That we somehow “deserve it” or are “entitled to it“. Our current governmental money “crisis” is a glaring example of “I” first mentality. Politicians whose primary goal is keeping “their” jobs, for decades, have promised me and you all manner of programs and benefits that they/we don’t have the money for. “We” then tell them to cut spending or raise taxes, or both, as long as they don’t cut the goodies “I” get or raise “my” taxes. In that sense, our politicians truly are a reflection of us. The bad news is, “we” can’t fix it. Fallen sinful man, in a culture of I, ME, MINE, represented by politicians of that same culture have no hope of correcting the problem. The Good news, is there is a WAY, and his name is Jesus, Christ, Lord of the Universe.
Disciples of Christ?
Jesus teaches us to put others first. That the greatest must be the servant of all. Believe him, trust in him, and obey him, and him first. A recent ABC News poll found that 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. Really??? Remember the term Christian was first used to describe the disciples of Jesus when it became apparent that they weren’t simply a sect of the Jews. Somewhere “our” definition of Christian obviously has changed, because if 83% of us were living as disciples of Jesus, this would be a far different country with far fewer of these “I” problems.
Christian, what is our definition what does the term mean? Is it simply believing in Jesus? Even the demons in Mark 5:2-13 believed and bowed at his feet, but I would hardly call them Christians. Is it those of us who simply say we’re Christian so we can get that free ticket to heaven when we die? Seems rather shallow. Or is it the original definition : disciples of Jesus, learning to be like him and teaching others to do the same? My Bible translation seems to indicate the latter.
Close Your “I”s
The moral of the story is that its “HIS story”. Jesus the King of the Universe, who paid the price for all our sins, reconciling all of creation to himself. If we are his, we have the honor of serving him and serving others. If we will just believe in him and trust in him, he will take care of our “I’s”, and in time his spirit will help our “I’s” become his eyes. My prayer is that we learn to be true Christians (disciples of Christ) and learn to live and apply his teachings “I” myself included.
Let us train ourselves and others to be like Jesus. We can begin with the 83% who identify themselves as Christian. Twelve Christians changed the world, just imagine what Jesus could do through 200 million. Let the Spirit close your “I’s” so he can give you his “eyes”.
By the grace and love of our LORD Jesus
The Sinner in the Mirror