One of the first reactions I had to the phenomena of social media was it is just another way for people to get attention. Just like a little boy cries out to his father; “Look at Me, Dad, Look at Me!!!” Now we have the means to say to the world; “Look at Me!” Look at what I had to eat, what I saw, where I went, and with whom I managed to get a selfie.
Smartphones and social media have given almost everybody the chance to achieve some level of notoriety. Even if it is showing you doing something stupid or capturing someone’s “fails”
One thing we need to understand about the humanity of Jesus is the extent to which He demonstrated to us His willingness to serve others with the idea that we would follow Him in this way of living. It is so counter-cultural to the me first, I am the most important, I want me first and the best mentality.
Have you ever had to split something with someone? You are going to go halve and halve but if it is something like a chocolate brownie you know one half is going to be bigger than the other.
When I was about 11 and my brother was 14, we faced this dilemma battling over the last of the brownies our mom made. Before the tasty treat was divided my brother showing remarkable wisdom said; “Whoever cuts the brownie in half the other one gets to make the first choice” …as he handed me the knife. Suddenly the focus became mine to make the division as exact as possible so that I would get just as much as him.
One of my favorite things to do as a pastor was to have church family potluck dinners. Unfortunately, and it grated against my sinful nature, I would have to allow everyone else to go first as a sign of humility instead of accepting the offer for me to go first.
One of the most beautiful scenes of the humility of Jesus was on the last night with His disciples, celebrating the Last Supper, He got up from the supper, took off His outer garments, tied a towel around His waist, and began to wash their feet.
Here was Jesus, the Son of God, as a human, taking the role of a servant and doing what a servant should have been doing. I personally think Jesus got there early and gave the servants the night off. This washing of feet was not the job of a leader but of a slave or servant.
The mere act of touching the 24 dirt-encrusted feet, spreading water over the skin, washing between the toes, removing all grime one might have picked up since their last washing was showing His disciples one of the most important lessons they ever had witnessed.
The lesson was simple. No matter who you are or how important you might think you are… lowering yourself, taking the role of a servant, and considering the needs of others as more important than your own is following the example of Jesus, Son of God…come in the flesh.
Which is one of the reasons Jesus taught that in heaven the first shall be last and the last shall be first. If you want to be first in the Kingdom of Heaven be the servant of all on earth. Take to low ground, the smallest piece, the least desirable and allow others to go before you.
Jesus was showing His disciples have to have a truly remarkable life. Our culture has taught us that we need to make it to the top and then we will be happy and fulfilled. That success is what we need to achieve if we are going to be happy. However, it seems that the feeling one has after reaching the penthouse that they find themselves alone and still unfulfilled. Alone because they have pushed everyone else out of the way so that they could be first.
One finds Jesus at the back of the line, on the bottom of the heap, in the kitchen doing the dishes instead of sitting at the head table. He did not consider His equality with God the Father and God the Spirit something He has to grasp and hold on to. But He humbled Himself, born into the human race to a poor young virgin, raised in the obscurity of a little town called Nazareth which had never produced much if anything good.
And it is because He emptied Himself and gave His pure and holy life as a sacrifice for all of our sins that He has been elevated to the top not because He scrapped and climbed the ladder but because He washed the feet of those wanting to get ahead.
After 15+ years of my own recovery, I see the value of this servant’s heart as a critical requirement for one’s recovery. God calls us to empty ourselves and consider the needs of others as more important than our own. And I have seen that play out as a critical part of recovering.
I tell all the men in 180 that 50% of their own recovery will be helping others succeed in their recovery. There is a time when those beginning to walk out of their sexual brokenness need a lot of help and attention from others who used to be where the new person finds themselves. They are in quicksand and have struggled for years to get free but only find themselves deeper in their brokenness.
They need a hand from others to help them begin to overcome the suction of sin. And the persons helping the new guy out are where they are because someone else has helped and continues to help them.
This is why I like to say recovery from our sexual brokenness is a TEAM effort. Which is why we have 15 Online Support Teams where men are helping themselves as they are helping others. Jesus showed us the value of being a servant and that is what we practice in 180 Online Support Teams.
Of course, you can choose to remain a Lone Sheep and today you just might be the blue plate special of the lion who is prowling around seeking someone to devour.