Freedom[Editor’s note: today’s post is an excerpt from the book Starving Jesus: Off the Pew, Into the World by Craig Gross and J.R. Mahon’]

J.R. and I consider ourselves reaction junkies. Not attention junkies. Please know that there’s a big difference between the two. One says, “Please have something to say about what I’m saying or doing.”  The other says, “Please have something to say about me, my thoughts, my actions. Me…me…me.

Christ was a reaction junkie, of a sort. As a result he created the biggest reaction the world has ever seen.

We would love to say we are perfect examples of Christ. The truth is the enemy would love for us to screw this ministry thing up. He would love for us to crave the fame of our peers and say, ”Oh look at us! Traveling the countryside getting people to react, just like Christ did. Aren’t we great? Look at our big websites, look at our cool resources. Check out our five-part series and all the cool merchandising. Order today—we take credit cards!

Satan does a great job ministering to those in the church who love the fame and power associated with helping others heal. You can get drunk on helping people change their lives. Unchecked, the lie becomes, “God had little to do with it and I am solely responsible for this new life.”  Believe the lie long enough and you start believing your own press. Satan then devours those seeking themselves by helping them celebrate their own self-centeredness. In the long run, the lie turns into a self-righteous theology that says, “I am the bottom line in peoples lives.”  The ministry quickly becomes about a man and what the man has to say or not say.

Satan teaches the self-centered and self-obsessed how to be what J.R. and I call “Born Again Lazy,” how to actively fulfill selfish desires while keeping Christ at arms’ length. Satan ultimately wants your reaction to be a call to do nothing for others. He’s looking for you to say nothing, leave nothing, and offer nothing.

Jesus, on the other hand, seeks to mix it up. When Christ calls us, he engages our sin, not our dreams, goals, or passions. He died for our sin. He served humanity by giving his life. He’s asking you to do the same. Grab the people around you and serve them (Tweet This!).

Jesus understands the human drive to be important and valued by other men. He is here to set us free from ourselves. The freedom needs to express itself in selflessness and service to and for others. He’s looking for your reaction to the world to be that of a servant.


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Freedom From Yourself by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.