What’s In this For Me?
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. Romans 1:14
It’s not uncommon for those seeking recovery to simply not want to go to recovery meetings. I just don’t get anything out of it. It’s a waste of time. I’ve complained of the same thing myself. I’ve been to many meetings that I just didn’t enjoy and which I didn’t find useful. Whenever I’ve heard this kind of complaint in front of someone who’s had years of recovery, I’ve heard this reprimand – Maybe it’s not all about you. Maybe it’s about going to help someone else.
The immature addict, in this regard, thinks the same way most of us think. What’s in this for me? What can I get out of it? This self-centeredness, is of course, at the center of the addict’s self-destruction. The addict’s life problems aren’t solely about drugs. The drugs are but a symptom of a much larger problem – a life that revolves around self.
In today’s passage, Paul modeled the exact opposite mindset. In it, as he wrote to those Christians in Rome, he proclaimed that he was obligated to carry the gospel to all those who’d not yet heard of Christ. Paul didn’t plan his life around his retirement account or his estate. He didn’t work for the weekend or for vacation days. Paul spent his life, not serving himself, but rather, serving God and those around him.
You don’t have to be an addict avoiding recovery meetings to see the application here. Most of us go to church thinking about what it does for us. We complain when our needs aren’t met, the music isn’t done to our taste, or the service is too long. We want programs that serve us. We don’t naturally go to church, looking for ways to be of service to God and those around us.
We should though. Our problem is the same as the addict’s problem – we’re naturally self-centered. If we call ourselves Christians, daily, we should be putting this old self-destructive nature to death, seeking to live the new life in Christ. To do so, we must continually make the choice, not to seek what serves us, but how we can be of service to others. Maybe it’s not all about you. Maybe it’s about helping someone else.