By Patrick Hawthorne
Let’s face some cold hard facts. In this day and age, there are too many people with the “Me, Me, Me…” complex. Whether rich or poor, their attitude is that society owes them something. If rich, society owes them respect. If poor, society owes them a comfortable life style. With one voice they cry, “Ask not what I can do for you, but what you can do for me!” Even the government is helping to fuel this selfishness with handouts rather than hand ups.
Sadly, this same spirit of deceit has carried over into the Church (the Body of Christ). Too many Christians are placing too much emphasis on themselves and their needs while ignoring the needs of others. Rest assured that it is not an attitude that God is willing to accept. Consider the seven things the Lord hates according to Proverbs 6:16-19 (Amplified)
16 These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one over estimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
Did you notice that each of the things God hates carries with it an attitude of, “Me!” But, what about the biggie sins such as murder, adultery, and stealing? They are merely the outward manifestation of the inward attitude. It is understandable that a world without Jesus might be guilty of following after the almighty, “Me,” but that should not be the case with the born again child of God. We should be living a cultivated life.
In Philippians 2:12, Paul instructs us to, “Work out (cultivate) our own salvation.” Cultivation is a “Work” word meaning to improve and prepare. Before a garden can be planted, the ground must first be tilled or cultivated. Cultivation is a process whereby the soil is loosened; it is a breaking process designed to promote growth.
To work out your own salvation means that each of us are going to have to roll up our sleeves and do the work necessary to walk a life pleasing to our Heavenly Father. In the beginning of Philippians chapter 2, Paul instructed the church at Philippi to cultivate their lives by putting others above themselves. To do that, they had to examine themselves. Were they showing humility or arrogance? Were they casting aside the needs of others in order to get their own needs met?
Working out our own salvation is a solo project. Yes, we can assist each other throughout the walk, but the ultimate decision is our and ours alone to make. I pray that each of you reading this make the correct decision and strive to be a work in progress by working out your own salvation. Be blessed.