I was greatly inspired by the life and story of the selfless surrender of Justin and Keary Cheney (graceandsalt.net). The Cheneys sensed a call of God to orphans, the fatherless that led them to Uganda to adopt some children. It is quite a story of two gifted and talented people that could have easily settled into a self-focused lifestyle, but instead chose to surrender, not to some momentous self-glorifying task, but to make a difference in a few other’s lives. This story also reminds me of Katie Davis (amazima.org) a vivacious young woman with great promise, voted homecoming queen of her high school, went to Uganda and sensed a call from God to not only go and serve that community as teacher, but to adopt 13 young girls. Wow, what a selfless surrender! In both of these stories there is a joy that is being experienced despite the hardship each of them have faced. It’s a joy beyond measure, a peace that is unexplainable, and a sense of inner delight that keeps in balance a healthy view of self.
Sure, these people could be investing their time fluffing their egos with tweets, selfies, and posts about their accomplishments, who they are hanging out with, and what great, new, cool ventures they are experiencing. But NO, they are promoting a selfless cause to contribute and help a needy world one child at a time. It’s like that old story of a guy watching a kid picking up starfish that had been left to bake in the sun from the fast receding tide and fling them back into the ocean. There were hundreds of them littering the beach. The man said to the kid, “Do you really think you can make that much of difference? There are so many and so little time before they perish.” With a starfish in his hand the kid said, “I don’t know, but it makes a difference to this one,” as he tossed it in to the sea.
God has called us all the selfless surrender of helping, caring, and contributing to the needs of others.
Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
None of us are to be selfish, self-focused, or think the world should revolve around us, we are to do good.
Proverbs 3:27-28 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” – when you have it with you.
Did not Jesus say in Matthew 22:39 that along with loving God we are love our neighbors? The answer is YES. Not for gain. Not for a ‘thank you.’ Not for recognition. Not for social positioning. Not for fame or self-glory. No, we have a calling and a mission from God to help hurting people (Luke 10:30-37), be salt and light to everyone (Matthew 5:13-16), minister to the widow and orphan (James 1:27) and care for the poor.
Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed.
And yes, there are many other opportunities of selfless surrender: volunteering in your local school or boys and girls clubs, complimenting and affirming those around us, cleaning up the public streets or parks in your city, being kind to a store clerk, serving in your church. What could you do? I wonder how different today could be if we actually did something completely selfless. It could make a huge difference in someone’s life, but also it can make an inner impact of bringing out that hidden joy. Why not give it a try…yes today!
If this interests you, I would like to invite you to visit any of our Church campuses as we are going through our current teaching series called “Surrender: An unexpected journey to thriving as a follower of Christ.” You can check out our website for more details, www.cypresschurch.net. We would love to have you join us or listen in online.
Seeking to be more selfless along with you,
PS If you would like to see a short video about Justin and Kaery go to: https://vimeo.com/84893428 .