ME or US?

ME or US?

All the many believers were one in heart and soul, and no one claimed any of his possessions for himself, but everyone shared everything he had. With great power the emissaries continued testifying to the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and they were all held in high regard. No one among them was poor, since those who owned lands or houses sold them and turned over the proceeds to the emissaries to distribute to each according to his need.

Acts 4:32-35

It seems these days millions of people are rallying against anything perceived to be against their best interests. Whether it be masks worn in public or vaccines, if someone doesn’t agree with the policy, they claim it is infringing on their personal rights. Very interesting . . . Since when did personal interest over-ride community interest?

There are several Bible verses which speak to this issue. For example, in Galatians 5:13-15, we read – “For, brothers, you were called to be free. Only do not let that freedom become an excuse for allowing your old nature to have its way. Instead, serve one another in love. For the whole of the Torah is summed up in this one sentence: “Love your neighbor as yourself;” but if you go on snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, watch out, or you will be destroyed by each other.” If we are neglecting the rights of our neighbours, how can we be following God’s Word?

And then, in 1 Corinthians 10:23,24, we find: “Everything is permitted,” you say? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted?” Maybe, but not everything is edifying. No one should be looking out for his own interests, but for those of his fellow.” Whose interests are we really following, when we condemn policy to protect the health of others in our community?

I find it very strange how our behaviours today mirror those of our spiritual ancestors, thousands of years ago. Clearly human nature has not changed, regardless of the technological advancement we have experienced, over the centuries.

Although here in Canada, we do not have the tremendous social upheaval many of you are experiencing in the United States, in some parts of South America and Asia, we have our fair share of those who claim their individual ‘rights’ over-ride societal needs. Where does it say that the total focus of a society situates on the individual needs and wants of its members? Where does it say that personal needs are paramount and societal needs are secondary? What are the expected outcomes of a society that looks entirely after ‘me’ and ignores the needs of ‘us’? And, yet, many within our societies truly believe and are willing to put their lives on the line for the preservation of their individual rights, no matter how many around them, even loved ones, are dying.

Many, who read this, may think that I am a socialist or, worse, a communist. I will admit to being a little socialist, in that I believe my individual rights fit within the larger social right. Otherwise, I might as well move my family into the mountains and live like hermits. I do know people like that and I do not want to share their rustic life style (but, of course, we wouldn’t be allowed, since they disapprove of society and are certainly not willing to start another).

Beloved, living in the 21st Century, most of us live in a society, of one kind or another. Those societies which focus on the individual needs of their members, only, do not survive; history is replete with stories of societies crumbling, imploding through neglect of the whole. My question to you: Is this what Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, wants from each of us, that we only seek to address our own needs and ignore those of others around us?

CONSIDER: Have you decided your needs are more important than the needs of others around you? Are you focused only on self and ignoring community?

ACTION: The vast majority of us, today, live in community. This means our personal and our community needs must both be a priority for us. If we ignore the needs of others, we are also doing disservice to our needs. Look at others around you; what are their needs? What may you do to help them?

PRAY: Abba B’Shamayim, Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us models we may use to guide us in our daily lives. We pray You guide us in helping to meet the needs of the many in our community. Help us to be givers for others than being takers for ourselves, B’Shem Adonai Yeshua, Mashichainu.  Amen

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you fully and richly.

By heartformessiah

Dr. Michael Wodlinger is a Messianic Jew, living in Quebec, Canada. He has been a university professor and a rabbi of a Messianic Fellowship.

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