Summary: Have you ever thought about why you think the way you do? What are the cultural lenses that you are looking through? Let us think about the water we are swimming in.

Rom 12: 9 – 21

Looking at our lenses: Individualism

(Have you spotted consumeristic thinking in yourself this week?)

Individualism is the social outlook that stresses independence and self-reliance. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires, while opposing external interference upon one's choices.

History shows we haven’t always thought like this. – different eras had different ways of thinking

Bible defined by family ANE, middle ages – oppressed, Enlightenment – change of thinking, demanding of individual liberties

Many +ve advancements Eg early protestants – 'you can’t tell me what to believe'

Wouldn’t have dreamt of it 200 years earlier – would have been killed for it

Individualism – my choices, my liberties are important – true

But in doing so, we started separate ourselves from others, which continues now - magnified

- I’m not suggesting we should all be the same,

What products can you now buy that you couldn’t but because of individualism now exist? Frozen dinners, mattress, car a/c,

So busy with our goals / desire – why are we so busy?

1) Don’t forget your church family (vs 10)

Vs 9 selfishness celebrated as ‘my rights’ is evil – hate it, cling to what is good – being devoted to others.

Stop using others – instead think about others

Be devoted to others – break the habit of bailing

Honour by caring and treating as people not just options

2) Do forget about selfishness (vs 16)

Vs 16 – the core of individualism is my opinion, my life, my desires are the most important of all

Don’t be conceited (eg Princess Leia "i love you" Han Solo's reply "i know")

The kingdom of God rejects ‘the pecking order’ mentality

Don’t embrace the lowly out of pity but out of love

3) Be committed to one another

– to work past arguing (vs 16, 18 – 20)

- to honour others above yourself (vs 10)

- to forgive character flaws

JFK was right! – don’t ask what your country/church can do for you!

Are you a team player?

The team only improves as we turn up to practice, learn from the coach, grow in unity and spur one another on.

Meism – Red Church logo "More than me"

One another passages – we need each other

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