I know what the problem is in this world. Itís the people. Everyone wants their own way. They have to be first. Even those I worship alongside. I wonder, if I canít get along with my brothers and sisters in Christ how will I make a difference in the secular world?
- The music is old-fashioned. The service is too traditional.
- The music is too loud. It only caters to the young in the congregation.
- Why do they change the way we celebrate communion? Iím not comfortable with that.
- His jeans are ripped. Who wears a tie anymore?
- Then there are the peopleótoo old, too young, too churchy, too radical, too formal, too casual, too rigid, too loose, too happy, too solemn.
Iíve read that the ďme firstóall about meĒ mind-set is blamed on Generation Y, so if you were born in the early 1980ís itís your fault. Then some sociologists say the selfishness began in the 70ís. That means we blame it on Generation X. I havenít heard it blamed on the Baby Boomers. Iím glad because Iím one of them.
The more I study the Bible, the more I think it isnít a matter of the generation or the age. Disagreement in the church isnít a new problem. The ďMe FirstĒ mind-set isnít new.
It began in the Garden with Adam and Eve. God said donít eat from the tree, but they ate it because the serpent said it would be good for them.
Centuries later Paul dealt with the problem in the churches he loved. He wrote to the church in Philippi. Donít be selfish. Be humble and think of others as better than yourself. While you look after your own interests, pay attention to the interests of others. (Philippians 2.3,4)
He wrote to the church in Rome. Have a genuine love for one another. Be delighted to honor one anotheróthinking of others as more important. (Romans 12.10)
Paul taught that strong believers, with a strong faith, have an obligation to encourage new or weak in the faith. Iím not to worry about keeping myself comfortable and doing what is good for me. He said to think about what is good for the person next to me. (Romans 15:1-3)
Jesus taught us how to love, but I like to overlook some of His teaching. He said I had to learn to be a servant and a slave. That doesnít seem comfortable. (Matthew 20:26-27)
My resistance to this wise teaching stems from the need to take care of myself. I have a fear of going without or being over-looked. I forget my Lord promised to take care of me. He causes ALL things to work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
He said if I focus on Him and seek the kingdom of God, He will supply everything I need. (Matthew 6:33 and 6:26)