THOSE FOUR WORDS stood out in bold print.
They appeared as if they were forming an enormous monument, each letter seemingly chiseled out of granite. At the base of this strange “monument” were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people with their arms stretched high, as if worshiping at a shrine. And then, in very small letters, this caption appeared at the bottom of the editorial cartoon: “Speaking of American cults . . .”
Surrounding the borders of this picture were four familiar lines from well-known commercials:
“Have it your way.”
“Do yourself a favor.”
“You owe it to yourself.”
“You deserve a break today.”
Jab, jab. Twist, twist. That kind of stuff cuts deeply. Because it is so terribly true. Yet we constantly applaud the I-me-mine-myself philosophy in subtle as well as overt ways. Self-help books sell into the millions. Society insists on elevating the mantra “look out for number one” at all cost.
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “. . . You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”
That could not be any clearer, don’t you agree? Are you striving to promote your perspective, demand that your way be accepted, or your voice be heard above others? Are you in the middle of a conflict with someone you love that, unless one of you stands down and defers to the other, is only going to intensify and cause lasting damage? Listen to Jesus. It’s time to turn from selfishness and strife as you embrace the way of the Cross. Lay down your rights. And leave the striving to Him.