Forget Yourself to Save Yourself

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Insecurity. Fear. Gnawing financial worries. These are the sorts of things a lot of us are struggling with during these strange, difficult days.

My advice to those of you who are lately sleeping less than you used to (not that any of you have asked me, of course) is to simplify. The singular blessing of difficult times is that they make you focus on what’s most essential and true in life. They help/force you to tune out the superfluous, the distracting, the wasteful, the … merely noisy.

If life’s got you terrified, it’s time to get clarified. That’s my motto.

And when you’ve done that—when everything but the most essential thing in your life has disappeared from your attention—what’s left? God.

And how do we do that clarification—how do we get to God? By accessing the Holy Spirit within us.

And what is God/the Holy Spirit? God (as the Bible repeatedly tells us) is love.

The way we simplify and clarify our lives is by listening exclusively to what God most wants us to do and be. And what God most wants us to do and be is love.

Everything always comes down to the same thing: Serve others. As Christ made as clear as he possibly could: It’s all about sacrifice. Give to others, ceaselessly serving them, and expect for your loving sacrifice nothing in return—nothing, that is, beyond living at one with God.

When things get tough for us, we think we need to start watching out for ourselves. But the only way any of us can really protect ourselves is by losing ourselves in the service of others.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • Christine

    So true, amen brother. So needed to hear this this week, was just looking at bank account and worrying when I decided to check email and there you were with the words I needed to hear. You are always interesting, today you were a mouthpiece. Thank you for this, it has really encouraged me and helped me refocus.

    God Bless Johnny Boy

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Oh, that’s great to hear (that I helped, I mean, not that you might be having financial troubles). Thanks, Christine.

  • http://OasisYachts.com David Tomen

    Well said John, although I think it a mistake to call it sacrifice. What I give away I have come to learn is to give to myself. Remember that old adage, “What goes around – comes around”? When I “give away” love and forgiveness I get it back – over and over and over again. And often from an unexpected source. Making love and forgiveness a daily practice has for me resulted in a life largely devoid of fear, insecurity, anxiety and stress.

    With love,

    David

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Thanks, David. I went with the word "sacrifice" there because I wanted to sort of foreshadow the connection between when we sacrifice for others and Christ's sacrifice for us. And, honestly, I do think that when we move into a place where we're making the whole point of our lives doing for others, we do need to think of it, in some really true respects, as a sacrificial engagement. Anyway … thanks for the great words.

  • Latoya

    Amen and Amen!

  • http://gloriarose.wordpress.com Gloria

    John, this post was a needed drink of water to me. Thank you! I printed it off and pasted it into my journal for thought and prayer. Please don’t think it is boring!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I won’t! Thank you guys!


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