Tom Anderst
September 20, 2015
Tom Anderst
Senior Pastor

Reference

Galatians 5:16–26

Galatians 5:16-26

Imagine with me that Canadian hospitals are desperately short of blood. They send out a nationwide appeal for blood donors of all types. Now suppose you were walking through a mall and you saw a sign promoting 2 blood clinics. One sign said – “Blood, it’s in you to give. Please go left to donate your blood.” The other sign said – “You’re blood is valuable. We will give you $100 for your blood. Please go right to get paid to give your blood.” Which direction would you most likely go: To the left to donate your blood or the to the right to receive payment for your blood? If you go left, you will give up a portion of your precious life blood. You may experience a little weakness or light headedness after you give. But after you feel better you get up and go home less a bag of blood. If you go right, you will give up a portion of your precious life blood. You may experience a little weakness or light headedness after you give. But after you feel better, you get up and go home less a bag blood but with a 5 $20 bills. What’s the difference between the two? Well if you go to the left, you give blood and you don’t really get much back for yourself. On the right you give blood but you get money back. The option on the right is a better deal if we view giving blood solely from a self-interested perspective. We give. We gain. So we come out even. But the option on the left requires we give and we gain nothing. So we come out losing if we look at this solely from how it affects us. But what if we looked at it from the perspective of the person who needs that blood? What if our primary motivation was to give our blood so that others would live? We might choose the option on the left. After all, a blood company that pays people 100$ every time they receive a blood bag will go out of business pretty fast unless they get a massive subsidy from the government. But an organization that receives blood donations can actually give blood to many without the concern of having to pay for it. This example exposes 2 life perspectives that can guide our choices and decisions. One perspective asks “what’s in it for me?” The other perspective asks “What’s in it for them?” These often conflicting perspectives can affect the way we relate to one another especially when it comes to love. A person who asks “What’s in it for me,” expects the other person to provide or produce something that will make giving love worthwhile. But the person who asks “What’s in it for them,” will be able to give love without expectation that they must receive something back. The second option sounds more noble and honorable. Yet, it is not a simple black and white issue. We are human and have limitations. We need to care for ourselves before we care for others. There are times we must ask questions like “do I have the emotional and physical resources to keep giving love to someone who gives nothing back?” Is it safe or healthy for me to keep offering love to this person? And even though we may want to offer a more selfless love, our sin nature constantly directs us to a self-interested love.