Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Costly Foundation

I am currently reading 'King's Cross' by Timothy Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City). Near the end of the book, Keller discusses the difference between a 'god' and 'God'. He goes on to clearly illustrate that any god who has not provided self-sacrificial love for his creation is not the true God.

"This god pays no price in order to love you. How valuable are you to the God of the Bible? Valuable enough that he would go to these lengths [go to the cross, absorb the debt, pay the ransom, and suffer immense torment] for you." (p.178; emphasis my own).

"How valuable are you?"
Someone shared, "The foundation [of a building] is the most time-consuming and costly part of construction." Laying foundation is hard work. If it is faulty the whole building will be insecure. The man my eight-month-old son will become is dependent on what is invested in him early in life. What sacrifices will I make for him? How will my words and daily-behaviors impact and influence him? How firm will his foundation be?

"Valuable enough"
It is necessary to reach out, to get personal, to show that I am in it for the long-haul. When others see self-sacrifice, their hearts are changed and motivated towards imitating that action. That's the 'Grace Model': others can change from the need to mentality to the want to. True love is about wanting to supply other peoples' needs, not needing to supply other peoples' wants. Life is about loving by self-sacrificial investment in people. I definitely need to work on it and you probably do as well. 'teacher' vs. 'Teacher' - Which one do you want to be? 'god' or 'God' which one paid forward for you?

How will YOU pay forward for someone today?

What value have I placed on people? What 'price' am I paying to have a strong marriage? What self-sacrificial love am I truly and freely giving? Where am I self-serving, when I should be self-sacrificial? In what ways can I better invest in my relationships? Think about these questions. Are you showing love in your relationships (work or home) out of a need to or want to?

I feel teachers best understand the impact and power of students' homes, because we interact with their products each day - children. I am blessed to teach so many who have supportive homes and families. These young adults are excited to accept new opportunities, have confidence in their abilities, usually the most successful at school, personable, socially aware, equipped to build strong friendships, meet challenges with eagerness, etc.

Energy must be exerted now, to ensure the foundation for a successful life is set and secure. I have committed myself to provide more self-sacrificial attention to my family and students. In this way there is greater likelihood for success as the stress/weight of life increases. 

So how have these two sentences of Gospel-truth, distilled by Tim Keller, rocked my own foundation? It has shown me that I live for my own comfort far too often. What am I truly sacrificing? When I get right down to it, not enough. Christ laid it all down. Am I? ...because God said "I Am."