First, others. Duh. We know as Christians that we are to put others first. It is how eternal life works. To put yourself first leads to destruction and death.
But do we really believe this?
Promotions… competing against colleagues for that job that puts you in charge. It’s more money, and generally more respect in life. Both are things we crave. But this is not how Jesus taught us to live. Any authority Jesus had, came from within. He didn’t need someone to call him boss, and he didn’t need to put others down to build himself up. This one is particularly ugly in religious employment circles.
What about countries? I’m a pastor of a largely republican congregation… and there is a lot of talk of securing our borders from refugees and immigrants seeking a better future. Can we really have this stand without putting a lot of Jesus teaching aside?
Money. Oh this one hurts. Despite what you might hope is true, trickle down economics does not work. The idea is, if the rich get richer, the poor will have more because of the money the rich spend. Whether this is some powerful house in English monarch history, or the compensation of today’s CEO’s, it just doesn't work and never has. When the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, it is a mere temporary way for those who have to live without fear or worry. Not that that always works for them of course. If you have more, it simply means someone has less. Jesus taught and lived this in his life. Yeah… I’ve got a mirror I avoid too much on this one.
Family. Ouch. I mean, we as Christian men are taught that a real man looks after his family, and sure, that seems like a good thing to do. But so often that stands in the way of us being fully devoted followers of Jesus. In fact, Jesus said it quite plainly once, that his real family we’re those who follow him.
Plus of course… revenge. Even regret. Ambition. These things all keep us from truly following Jesus. And the adversary knows it. Why do you think so many of these things are played out in the religious arena today?