You? Or Me? On Following God’s Own Fool…

Who is more important, me or you?
Whose feelings should matter the most to me, mine or yours?
Who should I look after, you or me?
When it comes down to it, who goes first, you or me?
Who gets the last piece of that yummy thing, you or me?
Who gets first choice from the delicious feast, me or you?

When you get praised and I don’t, who is more important, you or me?
When you get the raise and I don’t, am I happy for you or sad for me?
When you succeed where I have failed, how do I react? Is it about you or me?

When I love you but you don’t love me back, what do I do?
When I put you first but you put me last, what do I do?
When I pray for you but you revile me, what do I do?

The world screams, “You have to take care of you. After all, if you don’t, who will?”
Jesus said, “If you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, learn to be a servant of all.”

The world shouts, “You have rights! Stand up for yourself! Stand up for your rights!”
Jesus “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself by assuming the form of a bond-servant.” A human. An innocent criminal, sentenced to death on my behalf.

The world says, “Don’t give too much! They’ll take advantage of you.”
Jesus said, “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also [for the Lord repays the offender]. And whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”

The world says, “You only have to love those who are lovely – those who look like you, think like you, act like you.”
Jesus said, “I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven… For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have?”

Impossible stuff.
I can’t put your needs ahead of my own.
I might lose out if I do that.

I can’t love you more than I love me.
They’ll say I’m weak if I do that.

I can’t “consider your interests ahead of my own”.
I won’t get what I need in that equation.

After all, I have to look out for me, right?

But what if…

What if God meant it when He said He would supply my needs?
What if He meant it when He said that He would vindicate me?
What if God takes the job of being my Shepherd incredibly seriously?
What if my life rests on His reputation and not my own?
What if I decided to risk loving as He loves?
What if His power really is at work in me, giving me the strength to do the impossible?

Will He really have my back?
Will He really take care of me?
Will He really be my shield and my defender?
Will He really fight for me?

Or is He a liar?

The way I live…
The way I love…
The way I give…
Those are my answers to that question, is God a liar?
The choices I make and actively live out declare what I believe far more than my words ever will.

Do I believe God and therefore live His way, even when it is risky?
Or do I only say I believe?

Do I trust Him to keep His promises, even when everything in me screams I should protect myself?
Or is that just lip service?

For me, it comes down to this:
I have been greatly loved.
Completely forgiven.
And thoroughly gifted.

Therefore, I am going to:
Live fully, trusting God for the outcomes.
Love boldly, risking rejection, pain and hurt.
And celebrate joyfully all the glory He gets in the end.

The world will call me foolish for that.
But I will choose to follow “God’s Own Fool”, as Michael Card sings.
Here are the lyrics and a link to the song.
May you and I choose to “believe the unbelievable and come be a fool as well”.

God’s Own Fool
Michael Card

Seems I’ve imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God’s Holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of His mind

For even His family said He was mad
And the priests said a demon’s to blame
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong

And so we follow God’s own fool
For only the foolish can tell-
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter’s son
For a madman who died for a dream
And you’ll have the faith His first followers had
And you’ll feel the weight of the beam

So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say I believe
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see

So we follow God’s own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable,
And come be a fool as well

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