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THE SELFISH SIDE OF SPIRITUALITY
This is a sermon for you who are concerned about yourself.
Pulpit pleadings about the piousity of selflessness would
offend your honesty, for yo-u know your biggest problem right
now is you. It is not enough to hear generalities about the
overall worthwhileness of life. You want to know, "Is life
worth living for me? Is it worth the struggle I have to
make?" The humble poet anonymous observed:
This is the age of the half-read page
And the quick hash, and the mad dash
The bright knight with nerves tight
The plane hop, with the brief stop
The lamp tan in the short span
The big shot in a good spot
The brain strain and the heart pain
And the catnaps, 'till the spring snaps
And the fun's done.
Awareness of today's anxiety is reflected in this bit of
bumper sticker philosophy: "Drive carefully. You never can
tell when life may be worth living again." Someone saw a
cynical bumper sticker which read: "Honk if you believe
Our Lord speaks to the selfish questions and anxious age
presses upon us. We sermonizers who are prone to shatter
Sunday silence with pleas for people to embrace high ideals
and lofty goals of self-sacrifice are slow to see that Christ
spoke a great deal to the basic selfish motives in all of us.
Seldom does He address people as we should be, but as we are.
He does not make His appeal to those fine motives we ought to
have. He speaks a great deal to the selfish motives we do
have. It is astonishing to note how often He uses the phrases
"for yourselves" and "reward." Someone said, "Neither an egg
nor an ego is any good until you break it." Well, not so,
according to Jesus. He spent His time telling people they
were more important than they thought.
Listen, friend, in your beginning Christian experience
God wants you to ask "What's in it for me?" He replies to
that question, not in anger or scorn, but with love. And this
book is ...
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