Why does a fit ex-footballer all of a sudden have a passion for ending brain cancer?
Or an ex-cricketer have a passion to help breast cancer nurses?
Admirable as it is, there is a very obvious element about it.
I will give you a demonstration.
Why do we care?
I was hanging out at home where a friend and I were talking about the human condition and I said, “the truth is we are all a little bit selfish.”
He agreed and he gave me this example.
His daughter was battling a very serious illness that required the Royal Flying Doctors.
He had never given the Royal Flying Doctors a second thought until he saw with his own eyes the very good work they do.
Do we only care unless it affects us?
The truth is, an ex-footballer only gets a passion for ending brain cancer when they get brain cancer.
A cricketer all of a sudden gets a passion to help Breast Care Nurses when their wife is diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
It’s quite clear that we suddenly become passionate about causes that affect us personally.
Isn’t that in a way selfish?
Now before you shoot the messenger I have to ask the question, if we only raise money for a charity that affects us personally, is it really generous?
Why do I give to charity in the first place?
Do I give to charity because it makes me feel good?
Well I don’t think any of us give to charity to feel bad?
Is that not selfish?
Do I only do it because it makes me feel good?
The truth is
The truth is we really are that selfish especially in western culture.
We only support things that help us personally, we get something out of it, that is not generosity.
But there is good news
Jesus Christ came to give us eternal life.
He taught people by saying, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” (Mark chapter 10 verse 18)
He taught people in John chapter 3 that no one gains eternal life “unless they are born again, they will not see the kingdom of God.”
What the world judges as good is not good.
However, we are now reborn of spirit.
Self is dead, it has been crucified.
I love what the apostle Paul said to the Galatians:
‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ (Galatians chapter 2 verse 20 NIV)
So you see, when we move with ourselves allowing Christ to have full reign and freedom in our life, then our deeds do not bring us glory but glory to Christ.
That is the only way to achieve selfless generosity—by crucifying self and to be truly born again.
When we are truly born again it’s no longer us striving to have reputation but to make us of no reputation, to enter into fellowship with Christ and to be one with him.
I think of it as being in a car.
I find it so much more relaxing when I am in the front seat instead of the driver’s seat. When I am in the passenger’s seat I am at the will of the driver.
When the driver is Christ and his perfect love, I merely sit back, enjoy the ride and watch him fulfil his glory in my life.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.