You Need to Read This
John 13:5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
When my wife and I were engaged, I snail-mailed her a chapter of a Christian book I was reading at the time. I do not remember the book, but apparently, I communicated this message to her: You need to read this. I was new at being engaged and may have, in my carelessness, been more than a little condescending. I read something that I felt applied to one of her defects, so I kindly shared it with her. Needless to say, whatever my message was, it was lost in my arrogance.
I still tend to do this. When I read the bible, my first impulse is to apply it to everyone else. I know someone who needs to read this… Pride, that most insidious of defects, has a way of creeping in, turning my attention away from my own need. In my pride, I see that as I have turned from one of my flaws, I now have the authority to do some judging.
This pride, I think, is the temptation of anyone who follows God. If I find myself reading the bible and thinking about everyone else who needs to read it, then I surely have become blinded by my own arrogance. If I write this blog about those around me, then I have turned my gaze from my own need to the needs of others and have become blind to my own defects.
We were instructed by Jesus to carry the message of his gospel to those around us though, right? How do we do this without assuming a position of arrogance?
Jesus, who of all people, had the right to be condescending, somehow managed to communicate his message without pride. How did He do this? Jesus chose humility. In today’s passage, He literally got down on his hands and knees, washing his disciple’s feet. In taking on the role of a servant, He displayed his willingness to sacrifice himself and his dignity for the good of those around him.
Jesus remained aware of his own need for the father. He would withdraw to desolate places and pray (Luke 5:16). He recognized his own continual need for connection with God and He worked at maintaining that relationship. He allowed the father to fill him and pour out of him, in humility, to the lives of those around him. He literally sacrificed himself to wash his followers clean.
Like Jesus, I need to continually and deliberately choose to keep my gaze on God, maintaining my relationship with him. The truth is, I always need God. When I imagine myself to be quite successful at the Christian life, I begin looking down on others who are not. In this condition, I have surely turned from God and embraced lethal pride.
If I want to follow Christ, I must continually recognize my own need for God. I must continually choose humility. I need to read this…
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.