Locals Only by JW Kaiser
Ever wonder what all these people are doing at YOUR break? How about that kook that dropped in on YOUR wave? Ever been guilty of shaking down the shop owner for the “bro” deal because you didn’t want to pay the listed price? Or shrugged off the chance to help someone because the surf was good? It’s so easy to be self-focused. It’s our sinful nature that compels us to focus mainly on ourselves and our needs.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ sounds great at first. The forgiveness part is amazing, and who doesn’t want to go to heaven? But then you dig a little deeper and read that we’re supposed to actually love our neighbor as ourselves… even love and serve our enemies! That’s insane! Who came up with that idea?
Jesus tells us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” The good feelings of being loved and forgiven by God are an interesting contrast to the idea of me denying myself and taken up my cross! That sounds like selfishness needs to give way to self sacrifice. It sounds that way because it’s true… it’s God’s call on our lives. Listen to what Jesus says in Mathew 16:25: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
God asks us to live sacrificially, because he loves us and he knows that life to the full can only be found by given your life away to others! Yes, even our enemies. Even the guy who snaked your wave and took your parking spot. We are called to carry a cross, not of guilt and shame, but as sacrifice to our selfish ways.
We can’t do this alone. It’s way too hard. This kind of sacrificial life can only be lived in community. That’s why CS exists: so we can live on mission together, pursuing Jesus and trying to live a sacrificial life, together.
So share the wave. Share a ride. Take that extra shift at work so someone else can get off. Give more money to those in need. Give more than just good vibes. Give a lasting friendship to someone who is lonely. Share, give, and live a life that will find you giving yourself away only to find real life, the life God calls you to!