What’s in it for me!
Isn’t this the question of our times? “What’s in it for me?” captures our compulsion to self-interest. “What’s in it for me?” drives our everyday consumer expectations and decisions. We often look to be served, entertained, and made comfortable. We often look to make a profit, get ahead, and be successful. This stuff is human nature… and our culture has embraced it and amplified it.
Notice the difference between the “what’s in it for me” perspective of human nature and Jesus’ calling and purpose on our lives:
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8).
Jesus’ followers are asking, “when will you restore the Kingdom… OUR people’s kingdom”. I can hear it in their voice: “what’s in it for US?” Jesus’ response to them was more like, “it’s not about YOU… it is not for YOU to know”, instead, “you will be MY witnesses to others… here there, and everywhere”.
This is the commissioning the disciples receive right before the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon them with wind and tongues of fire. This is the commissioning of the disciples that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, gives birth to the church, the community of faith that endures to this every day!
The choice before each of us is whether we are going to order our lives around the ‘what’s in it for me’ perspective, or are we going to fulfill a greater, more worthy purpose: to be witnesses for faith, hope, and love, examples of transformed lives, and partners with the Holy Spirit in extending and expanding God's Kingdom throughout the world.