Summary: Life is designed by God to be lived in the context of “us” or “we” but not in the context of I, me, or mine!
tag line: Life Together!
Thesis: Life is designed by God to be lived in the context of “us” or “we” but not in the context of I, me, or mine!
That famous toddler phrase we have all heard as parents and grandparents is what? Let’s say it in unison --- “Mine!”
Wouldn't it be great if you overheard your toddler say to one, "Sure, you can play with my favorite truck anytime"? Would that not make headline news? Maybe not.
The truth is my experience is - Three- and 4-year-olds tend to cling passionately to their possessions to their stuff.
Quote: "Preschoolers are so focused on their own wants and needs that sharing just isn't a priority," explains Ann Easterbrook’s, Ph.D., chair of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts.
But as a Toddler this behavior is expected and the parents seek to guide their child out of this self-centered stage of life. Guidance is the key – instructing toddlers to share is emphasized over and over.
But what happens when a person is an adult and still acts like a toddler? There is no sense of “us” not comprehension of “We?” Does the Bible address this behavior?
T.S. – Let’s read some Bible verses which focus about “us” verse “mine.”
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself…”
“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Galatians 6:2; 7-9:
2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
“7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
These are just a few Bible verses addressing the subject “Us!”
The Bible frowns on selfish behavior and it repeatedly tells us to root it out of our lives. This type of lifestyle, mindset, or attitude is not from Heaven but originates from the world’s value system. Today self is elevated and servanthood is deflated by many in our society.
T.S. - So today let’s evaluate ourselves today and see if we have the flawed and toddler character traits of a selfish, self-centered individual. Please note: We must be honest with ourselves today if we ever want to become mature in our spiritual lives (Galatians 6:4).
I. The nature of “Us.”
a. Thoughts on the concept of “Us” and Biblical Community:
i. Quote: “To avoid thinking about community simply because we misunderstand it will deprive us of one of God’s greatest gifts. The idea of community is, in a sense, from another world, a world very unlike our own. But it is neither from the world of communes in Vermont nor from the placid world of cookies and tea Christians share before they rush back to their isolated lives. Community is from the world as God wants it to be. It is the gift of a rich and challenging life together, one that we need and can receive with joy.”