Christianity can be summed up into those three words – Selflessness, Sacrifice and Faith.
Human nature tells us to focus on self-gratification, on self-indulgence… on selfishness.
Human nature tells us to focus on self-preservation and that survival of the fittest is how we should guide our actions. The strong will survive and those who don’t make it are not worthy of living.
Human nature tells us to believe what we can see, trust what you can touch and follow only what you can prove.
Jesus calls us to act in a completely opposite way.
Christ calls us to overcome our humanity and to live a holy life by being selfless instead of selfish, of being guided by what you can’t prove instead of by that which you can and to be willing to give your life, if need be, for those unprovable things.
The Ten Commandments are instructions on overcoming our humanity and putting God first above all things. They require sacrifice and faith and not giving into the human impulses of anger, covetousness and lust.
Another example is to look at the Seven Deadly Sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. They are all selfish, all looking inward, all based on you first, all of them embracing human animal responses.
By comparison, take a look at the Seven Heavenly Virtues: Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility. They are all based on overcoming our human instincts, of rising above our impulses and to sacrifice something for the holy good.
Also, look at how Jesus interacted with those whom He healed… it was their faith that healed them. It was not their belief in knowledge of the doctors or physicians to cure them, it was their faith in the power of Jesus Christ that saved them. It was their belief in the unbelievable… that this simple, yet powerful preacher could heal them. It was their belief in the inconceivable idea that this rabbi could actually be the Son of God that cured them.
The same challenges of Jesus’ time are still with us today.
- Abortion and the use of contraception are examples of a lack of faith.
- Pre-marital sex, adultery, drug use, alcohol abuse and pornography are examples of selfishness.
- Choosing to live together instead of getting married, many cases of divorce and putting material wants above spiritual needs are examples of not wanting to sacrifice.
You could continue to come up with examples all day long.
How different are those examples from what Jesus said: Give away all that you have (selflessness), take up your cross (sacrifice) and follow me (faith).
If we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, if we truly believe He was God on Earth, if we truly believe He is the one, true path to salvation, then we must be willing to follow His example.
Selflessness, Sacrifice and Faith.