Articles and thoughts by Steve Green.
I had never tied self-denial to loving others the way Calvin explains it. Who wants to hear that each of us “bears a kind of kingdom in his own breast?” And, “there is no one who does not cherish within himself some opinion of his own preeminence.”
How painfully true. Just when I think I’ve made headway in this something happens that shows how far I have to go. This afternoon getting ready to board a flight out of Mexico City I was close to the front of the line waiting for my Priority Access boarding. That is a perk I enjoy, but also one I need with the extra carry-on baggage. In many countries lines don’t mean much and boarding by numbers is mostly ignored. So, I assumed that the couple in front of me was doing just that, jumping in line when they should be in the back. To my shame I admit that they appeared to be simple folks. I was even so bold as to ask if they were Priority Access boarders. They kindly nodded affirmatively. Now, although I have early boarding privileges, I travel the coach section. To my surprise as I followed the couple on the plane, they were actually sitting in Business Class. I took my seat on the plane and began my class reading in Calvin’s Institutes. It was the chapter on self-denial. I stand corrected and humbled. Scripture bids me to act toward others so as to esteem them as above myself. The evidence of progress in this is self-forgetfulness, where the yearning to possess, the desire for power, the clamoring for favor and ambition that sees others as obstacles or opportunities is uprooted.
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