For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:21. (EHV).
We’re people: this is what we do. Our own interests are the reasons for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform we have. When something happens, our first, our go-to, reaction is to react based on how it affects us; what we think, how we feel, why this affects us and our opinions.
Kobe Bryant died yesterday. But let’s be real and ask when was the last time you or I honestly considered Kobe Bryant? He retired a few years ago. He was another among thousands of athletes and entertainers even as he was surely one of the best to ever play his game. From what I’ve read, he later became a devout Catholic who spent much his time split between his family and charity work. Part of me wonders if he was working to make amends for what happened in Colorado years ago. We’ll never know, so let’s, instead, pray for peace for a family left to grieve.
So what was your reaction when you first heard that this celebrity had died? Stop in your tracks and consider those words “your reaction.” Because when things happen, our first natural instinct is to consider how they affect us. Psychologically, even physiologically, that’s probably a healthy thing. We need to first safeguard our biological selves any time something happens around us. Is it a danger to me? What does it mean, and then what does it mean to me? Considering things in the light of how they affect ourselves is actually understandable and realistic.
Yet we must not allow our consideration to end there. Paul rightly cautions us that our self-focus can prevent us from focusing on what Jesus is doing, what Jesus wants, how this affects our lives with Jesus. If all we do is each consider only our own interests, then this world breaks down quickly. We have to learn to take our thoughts captive and re-direct them towards God. The better way is to submit our thoughts, our reactions, our pro-actions to Christ and let Him take the lead in whatever comes next.
I’m not much of a basketball fan, yet even I appreciate the natural talent of a Kobe Bryant. More important than some game or even unproven actions, he later spent considerable time and resources helping inner-city kids succeed. Yet beyond how this affects our community at large, let’s take captive those thoughts and give them over to Christ, then celebrate that Kobe and his daughter got their “well done” from Jesus yesterday. For them, like others who died in the faith, yesterday was the best day of their lives and the start of the most important part. That matters so much more.
For further reading: 1 Corinthians 10:24, Philippians 2:22
Lord Jesus, encourage me all the time to submit all my thoughts to You. Thank You.