, Corbin, KY

April 15, 2014

The DNA of the Redeemed

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — Published Saturday, April 14, 2014

By John Burkhart

 “He who loses his life for my sake will find it.” [Mark 8:35]

Spending myself — time and resources — for the benefit of another defines love. The expenditure of self is the necessary ingredient to love God and neighbor. Love requires something of me spent for the benefit of another. Love without costing me something is not love.

By our nature, a fallen nature inherited from our first parents (requiring the absolute necessity of redemption through the merit of Jesus Christ), we are bent on spending our self for the benefit of our self. By nature we are selfish.

It is only by the “born-again” power of God’s presence within us, The Divine DNA, that we are enabled to truly love — doing for another without personal benefit. Jesus is identified as the “Savior of the world,” which unfortunately for most of the world’s population seems mysterious and even senseless. Life for so many appears well enough without any need for some kind of a savior; “You Christians think you need saved from something, but the rest of us are fine, not seeing any need for your Savior Jesus.”

All history of human life is an on-going testimony of our need for a Savior — the endless atrocities of injustice and suffering inflicted by hateful and self-serving hands. Desperately weak, we humans find it virtually impossible to generously give to the needy, to tithe, to forgive, to patiently bear offences, to seek reconciliation and peace; to offer good things in return for bad; to have the strength to stand stalwartly opposed to the suffering injustices and destitution imposed on the weak of the world.

Yes, our natural tendency is to look out for #1, even looking the other way from those denied the necessities of life.

We Christians have God’s DNA, the power to do for the unfortunate; to lay down our lives, to exhaust ourselves in the service/love of others; even for those who are down and out, considered as worthless.

“What you do for the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.” [Mt. 25:40]

Joy, peace, abundance and love in our world correlates to letting God in our world. Identified as the “Salt of the Earth” and the “Light of the World,” we who are so endowed with God’s indwelling, are obliged to share this DNA empowerment with the world. Love is out of reach unless we let the Lord God in.

The Rev. John Burkhart  Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of  psychology blog at inspirationsandideas