Thursday 05 November 2009

Bible Book:
Romans

"We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves." (v.7)

Romans 14:7-12 Thursday 5 November 2009

Background

What does it mean to "live to ourselves"?

What Christians call original sin is the state into which allpeople are born. It can be described as saying that we are bornwith a self that seems to be the centre of our existence. Weinteract with the world while remaining centred in this self.Having this self that seems to be the vital heart of our existence,we feel compelled to look after it. We defend it if it isthreatened, further its interests, nurture it, expand and developit. It makes perfect sense. Who will do this if not us?

The incomprehensibly radical message of Jesus is that we don't needthis self. We can let it go. Accordingly a Christian can spend alifetime trying to 'de-centre' from this seemingly essential but inreality quite illusory self.

But if we do not live to our 'selves' how do we live?

In the leap of faith into what seems like the abyss of death, wefind ourselves reborn and centred in God. There we also findourselves joined at the deepest level to all of God's children,safe where we were always meant to be.

Then our old selves will die, but we will not. We will live on ineternal love.

To Ponder

How do we stop living 'to ourselves'?

In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, RichardDawkins proposes that self-interest is the guiding principle of alllife. Does that mean that the Christian way is 'against the laws ofnature'?

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