Why You Should Slay Your Ego and Fight For Unity in 2018
Sure, you can lose 20 pounds and stop saying the f-word so often. There are plenty of resolutions you can make, some of which are worthwhile and nearly all of which won't last. I'm not here to offer you another idea for a resolution, because I think resolutions are ridiculous.
As today is New Year's Day, I just want you to think about something. I ask you to consider your interaction with the people in your life: your family, friends, coworkers, baristas, teachers, and civil servants. Everyone. How often do you talk bad about other people? How often do you have ugly thoughts about people? How often do you engage in conversations online you'd never have in person? Does this bother you at all? It should.
If you aren't bothered by your ugliness toward others, stop reading now and go move to Antarctica - and don't bring a jacket. If you have a modicum of self-awareness, however, you should be well aware that you fall short in loving your fellow man. Well short.
Consider Psalm 133:
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when bothers dwell in unity!
Yes, it is pleasant. And wonderful. And rare.
The reason for our disunity with others is, surprise surprise, sin. We want to be God, and we want to be worshiped, and to hell with those who don't bow down to our kingdom. You may think I'm exaggerating, but consider these examples:
We get angry in traffic because we think we're entitled to an easy commute. Those morons in other cars are in the way of our royal chariot.
We are jealous of our friends because their fortune highlights our poverty. We want to be seen as rich and successful and we want the good stuff for ourselves because we are super awesome.
We are jerks in political conversations because we think we're omniscient and the world would work perfectly if those (insert liberals or conservatives) would get a clue. Wake up, world. Just listen to me and I'll tell you how this whole thing works.
We are intensely sensitive in dealings with others because we don't get the respect we deserve. We deserve worship and praise, not criticism and cold shoulders.
Our fragile egos must be protected at all costs. Our rights, our property, and our reputation cannot be tread upon - or else. Well, sorry princess, that isn't reality. So what are we going to do about it?
Surrender your ego to the Lord.
All of it.
Take your meals with thanksgiving and gratitude. Remember the gift of each breath of fresh air. Take nothing for granted. You are owed nothing by God, yet he lavishes you with delights: clean food and plenty of it, beautiful sunrises, electricity, and oh yeah - salvation.
We sinned, and the Father sent Jesus to earth to pay our price. Now he's tossed us the keys to the kingdom. We aren't in heaven yet, though. We live in what theologians call the already-but-not-yet. Jesus paid the price in full, and the work is done - but we still live in this broken world. We still sin, though we've been cleansed and despite the fact that we are - if we are in Christ - being matured and grown up in him every day.
We are undeserving of the abundant grace in our lives. Everyone has their struggles and issues. If we will approach the world with gratitude and our egos on the low shelf, we can build unity. I don't know about you, but I can only do this if I remain in connection with God and his Word. The more I sit underneath the waterfall of truth and grace and hope, the more my eyes open. On my own, I'm just building my joke of a kingdom.
So here's another year. You can't change the world but you can change the way in which you approach it.