Foregoing our entitlements

Posted: 2012 07 26 by Chris Goforth in Authentic Man, Biblical manhood, Challenge, manhood, masculine, masculinity, Production Values, Relationship, Spiritual Discipline

Engagement with others means our brokenness is going to class with their brokenness.  Life is indeed quite messy and until we are reunited with Christ in heaven life will continue to be messy.  We hope and watch with great anticipation for the day of Christ’s return when justice will prevail and order will be restored where chaos has taken over.

We were meant to live in relationship with one another.  Jesus did life with others and in fact spent the last years of his life traveling around with other men.  Eating, sleeping and sharing life together.  I am positive it was not without conflict.  Jesus modeled what we should be doing; he came to serve others, to forego his own rights to ensure the needs of others were met.

We spend a lot of our time being me focused; concern and frustration arise when we don’t get what we believe we are entitled to.  We are creatures of habit and routine.  When those are disrupted, we get upset, frustrated and angry.  We become rude even spiteful, our actions and words demonstrate that and we no longer reflect Christ.

My wife and I have an open door policy in our house.  We welcome and invite friends, neighbors and others into our house at any time, you don’t have to make an appointment, you can show up at any time and you will be welcomed in with love.  In raising kids, we want to be the house all the neighborhood kids come, the safe place where we know no harm will take place.  That prayer has been answered, since moving into the neighborhood 5 years ago; our house continues to be the central point where all the kids come to hang out.

Now here is the place where this clashes with my own entitlements.  I long to come home and be welcomed by my family.  To have my wife and kids smile, kiss and hug me and welcome me home when my day is done.  More times than not, it is not my family who greet me at the door, instead a neighborhood kid.  There are times I walk through my yard and see wrappers and other remnants kids have left behind and I become frustrated and upset and wish they weren’t around.  As soon as I think those thought I quickly am reminded of how this is what my wife and I have wanted and prayed would happen and I stuck in the crossroad.

How about the neighbor that asks you to help move.  The woman holding the sign asking for spare change.  The solicitor who shows up and wants to talk with you.  The friend who’s always wanting to do something with you. How about your wife asking you to do the dishes tonight.  Your child asking to be read a story or have you go for a walk.  You planned to come home and watch the game, mow the grass, read a book or just be in your zone.

This is where living and serving the needs of others gets messy.  We have to be willing to lay down our own plans and needs to readily serve those around us.  If we long to be in relationships with others as we should it means we often have to get dirty and do without.

On the other side of this is Jesus also demonstrating to us that taking a break, recharging and refreshing our soul is needed.  He spent time away praying and talking with God.  He moved away from crowds to times of being alone.  He was able to balance it out as we should also, that is practicing good healthy choices.

When it comes down to it, how much of your own entitlements are you willing to lay aside so that you can do life with others?

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