I read this recently, “Successful entrepreneurs put all of their efforts into building and growing their new ventures, setting their own egos aside” (John Rampton). Love, too, is like that, it puts its effort into the relationship with the one who is loved, setting aside its own importance. It could be said of Jesus that in putting all his efforts into inviting people to be part of God’s realm, he set his own ego aside. Embodying love, too, he gave no thought to his own standing or safety, he gave himself for the sake of those whom he loved. This complete absence of egotism is represented in his Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem. Biblical scholars, Crossan and Borg, speculate that, at the same time as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, was entering from the other side of the city, accompanied by all the pomp and boastfulness of imperial Rome. Then the contrast is striking. The one who reflects the very nature of God comes to Jerusalem, to Australia, to every one of us, in the humility born of love. It follows then that egotism, feelings of superiority and arrogant disregard of others should have no place in our lives. The way to prevent self-confidence turning into heartless egotism is to have a self-confidence based on Christ-confidence. When we listen to the Christ within, the Spirit of love, we forget self and give ourselves to living and sharing the reign of God. We care not for recognition or honours. We act out Christ’s way of compassion.
- What does this mean for us in this pandemic dominated environment in which we currently live?
- What is the difference between egotism and self-confidence?
- Give examples of where you have seen ‘humility born of love’.
- What does it mean to have a self-confidence based on Christ-confidence?