How Selfish Is Your Christianity?

By James R. Henderson

The Akamba tribe in Kenya have a proverb, "Mbiti ye mwana ndiisua ikamina." It means, "Even the hyena with a cub does not eat all available food. Rather she goes hungry so that the cub can eat."

I’ve learned that this principle can apply not only to physical food, but to spiritual food as well. We can get so wrapped up in trying to "discover" our spiritual gifts, figuring out what God’s will might be for us, trying out new techniques for getting a closer walk with God, or any number of other pursuits focused on what we perceive to be our own spiritual needs, that we forget that Christianity is about serving others, not just spiritually enriching ourselves.

If our main spiritual focus is ourselves, aren’t we living a rather selfish form of the Christian life? But life is not all about us. It’s about Jesus, and about loving others. There is a world out there that needs Jesus Christ, and our job is to share the good news he’s given us. "Give a serving to seven and also to eight," says Solomon, "…do not withhold your hand" (Ecclesiastes 11:2, 6, NKJ).

When it comes to life in the Spirit, even the hyena has a lesson for us. The more we give, the more we have to keep giving.

copyright 2007

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