Why can’t we just do things our own way? We certainly could, but such ways might not always promote our eternal salvation. The ways of fallen human nature are not the ways of God. The Almighty explains, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9).
So, we cannot expect to enjoy God’s full endorsement of finite, earthly ways of living. After all, we do not even own ourselves! Scripture reveals that we have been bought with a price—the blood of the only-begotten Son of God.
Even our love for others may not be everything it should be. All can benefit from the inspired warning given to one family:
“Our love is frequently selfish, for we confine it to prescribed limits. When we come into close union and fellowship with Christ, our love and sympathy and our works of benevolence will reach down deeper and will widen and strengthen with exercise. The love and interest of Christ’s followers must be as broad as the world. Those who live merely for ‘me and mine’ will fail of heaven. God calls upon you as a family to cultivate love, to become less sensitive in regard to yourselves and more sensitive to the griefs and trials of others. This selfish spirit that you have cherished all your lives is correctly represented by the priest and the Levite who passed by the unfortunate on the other side. They saw that he needed help, but purposely avoided him.
“Each one of you needs to awake and face square about to get out of the cart rut of selfishness. Improve the short, probationary time given you by working with your might to redeem the failures of your past life. God has placed you in a world of suffering to prove you, to see if you will be found worthy of the gift of eternal life.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 530.
Relief for the suffering, ignorant, wayward specimens of humanity today requires unselfishness from all of us. We are not our own—we are the exclusive property of our Creator, who has given us an example in the life of Jesus Christ. To rightly represent the character qualities of heaven requires our entire being. We are stewards of God’s grace, stewards of the light, the means, and the talents bestowed.
Therefore, to encourage us in the steps of our Master, the <em>Sabbath Bible Lessons</em> for the next two quarters are based on “Stewards in the Last Days.” Through these studies, it is our prayer that God may grant us success in the unselfish walk of Christ!
The General Conference Sabbath School Department