In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul writes:
9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. [TNIV]
These are the words of a man who knew pain, suffering, hunger, and loss. As I have reflected on these words, I have wondered…how have I been inconvenienced because of Jesus? I tend to avoid any disruption of my life. I protect my routine. I defend my schedule. But, I am learning that to truly follow Jesus means to surrender everything to him…including my plans.
Paul recounts multiple times in this passage being mistreated, hungry, slandered, the list is long. Yet he responds to each of these from a Christ-centered heart. I think my selfishness often keeps me from this kind of attitude. For me to be “Christ-centered” would mean that I would not be able to be “me centered.”
So, what is keeping you from a heart centered on Jesus?
Looking forward to hearing from you.