Tim Keller's little book, "The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness" is helpful in our journey with the Good Samaritan. Our character determines to a large degree to what extent we journey to the neighbor. Keller suggests that focusing so much on the self, whether your esteem is high or low, is a kind of bondage. The apostle Paul wrote, "I do not care if I am judged by you; I do not even judge myself" (1 Corinthians 4:3) or as Keller rephrased it, "I have a low opinion of your opinion of me - but I also have a low opinion of my opinion of me." How liberating would it be to say "I have a low opinion of my low opinion of myself"? Paul's goal isn't to prop up the ego. Paul believes the ego can be set free from itself in self-forgetfulness. Keller speaks of a "Gospel humility," which is "not thinking more of myself, or thinking less of myself, but thinking of myself less."
If we can be self-forgetful, we could genuinely focus on other people. We could enjoy things simply for the enjoyment. No anxiety expended on trying to look good, or get ahead, or wondering if you're okay enough. Love could get real. The path Keller outlines briefly is Paul's steady verdict: "Not what you think, not what I think, but what God thinks is all that matters." And God's ultimate verdict is in. The trial has already ended. You are beloved. "There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). Yours is to believe, to trust God's eternal opinion of you - and then to lay your weary ego down and forget where you laid the thing, at least for a while.
This Sunday we are making the JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF GOD. We will freshly hear and know God's eternal opinion of you and me! And once again, there will be many opportunities to serve our neighbor throughout the lobby. What a privilege it is to be part of the body of Christ at Central!
P.S. This Sunday we continue to receive our estimates of giving for 2015. Please plan on placing your financial promise card in the Globes when the tithes and offerings are being received. And at the THANKSGIVING EVE WORSHIP at 7:00PM we will hear a report from the Tanzania team. Following worship we will have a piefest. At each table there will be a host from one of our missions that we support!
Central Lutheran Church