What does it mean to live the Gospel? We are encouraged to do it all the time in sermons, but how does a person do this? It starts with looking away from ourselves, looking at others, looking with love.
This video is a beautiful example of the power of looking at others and not at ourselves. Yes, on one hand, the woman is in the shop where the kid who stole the medicine is in the right, but on the other hand, she did not see the need of the other. She only saw her loss.
But how do we take our eyes off of ourselves and really see others with love? It begins with understanding what love is. Love is wanting good for another and doing whatever it takes to make that good happen. In the video we see the restaurant owner see a need and want the good for the little boy; we also see that he has a history of this “outward looking”.
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus reveals one of the Keys to the Kingdom, looking outward. “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?” The answer: “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” We live the gospel when we love others with our actions.
This video has struck a chord on the Internet, and as I write this, has over 5.5 million views. Most of the comments mention being moved to tears by this 3-minute film. What is moving people to tears? Why is the message of this cell phone company commercial resonating with so many people? Because it depicts real, selfless, others-centered love.
This kind of love is what every human longs for, whether they can articulate that longing or not, this is what we all want, to be loved even in our weakness.
When I was 19 I needed some very expensive car repairs that I could not afford. A friend of mine paid the bill in full. I was dumbfounded. He did not want me to pay him back, he simply said, some day in the future someone else will have a need, give the money to them. I have been paying him back through gifts to others for years.
There is no guarantee that your gift of selfless love will ever be returned to you, but if you want the guarantee, then it is not really a selfless gift. We give to others not to get something in return. We, as Christians, give because so much has already been given to us; namely the love of the Father in the person of his Son Jesus. When we look beyond ourselves what we see is Jesus.
Thinking like an Apostle
All of this is really a nice thing to think about… but back to the first question: What does it mean to live the Gospel? In truth there are around 7 billion answers to this question. Each one of us will live out the gospel slightly differently. There is this concept of a “divine appointment”, that God has a job for you each day. The task is to be ready for it. Every morning take a moment to say to God “I’m ready for what ever you need me for” Then spend the day looking out of yourself and at the other Images of God that cross your path and be ready for your divine appointment.