Everyone Has a Personal Agenda

May 1, 2021

From the Pastor

Who in your life doesn’t have any personal agenda whatsoever? Who of them doesn’t have a personal bias? Even the most noble among us cannot escape at least having an inclination toward self-fulfillment. Love of self is an inescapable component of the human experience.

It has its uses. Love of self is the hidden root of all instincts toward self-preservation and self-improvement. When an infant cries to let a parent know that they are hungry, or tired, or uncomfortable, it is self-love that cries out; and it’s a good thing that it does.

But as we try to rise above our earthborn nature, to become the more spiritual beings we are meant to be, we need to work to subordinate our love for ourselves below a desire to serve the good in other people. (Ironically, the very impetus to work on our own spiritual growth is itself initially sparked using our love for ourselves.) But the goal is to become focused first on love for the Lord and for our neighbors, such that our desires for self-satisfaction—along with our desires for material delight—cease to inhibit our regeneration. But this is a lifelong process, and in the end, the love of self does not go away, it merely becomes less strident.

All this means, among other things, that every person you encounter in your life, no matter how spiritually evolved, still has within them the instinct toward self-satisfaction. They can love you, serve you, advise you, and help you, but there is never absent at least a small tug towards self. This is true of everyone in your life—except one.

In the 50th Psalm, the Lord chastises His people a little for thinking that ritual sacrifices were to be done because He somehow needed them for himself:

“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and all that is in it is mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High. Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

(Psa. 50:12-15)

The one and only person in all of the universe who literally has no way of benefitting from you at your expense is the Lord. So, when He tells you something, there can be no mixed motive, and no personal agenda. If He tells you to do something, it is purely for your benefit.

So, trust the Lord. Have faith in Him and in His Word. Listen to Him. His Commandments are for your benefit.

Rev. Glenn “Mac” Frazier
Pastor, Washington New Church

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