about-bg about-bg

Watch/Listen

How the Dead View Others

• Greg Boyd

This week Greg continued his series on dying to self and its connection to discipleship by illustrating how this change radically alters how a person views others.

Show Extended Summary Hide Extended Summary

This week Greg continued his series on dying to self and its connection to discipleship by illustrating how this change radically alters how a person views others.

Last week, Greg shared how dying to self revolutionizes a person’s understanding of individuality. He compared people’s uniqueness in the Kingdom of God to that of a prism. Just as a prism refracts light into its various component colors, so also when God’s light shines through the prism-like Kingdom of God into the individuals who comprise the Kingdom, each person reflects their God-given uniqueness. In contrast to the false self that attempts to secure its uniqueness through competition with others, the person who has died to self realizes that God alone is the source of his or her worth. By dying to self, a person opts out of the world’s competition game for self-worth. The triune cycle of God’s love to them, in them, and through them drastically changes their perspective of others.

A person who has died to self views others in terms of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross rather than through the false self that is governed by competition. Christ died for all people, and wishes for all to be saved. God loves all humanity unconditionally, from the most pious saint to the most notorious murderer. 1 Corinthians 13:7 teaches that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” This means that instead of viewing people as enemies, the person who has died to self sees each person as a fellow traveler along the road of life. This experience of God’s love should naturally cause a person to desire that everyone (including their enemies) experience reconciliation with God (see 2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

It necessarily follows from this that all people should be treated with the dignity and respect befitting royalty. Everyone bears the image of God. This is true even for the most marginalized populations of society and the church. Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:31-46 indicate that he so identifies with his creation that whatever is done to “the least of these” he considers it as being done to him. Greg exhorted the audience to realize what a privilege it is to communicate to others their incredible value. To do this involves seeing people with “empathetic” eyes. It means to love people as you would want to be loved. Greg shared a practical example of this in terms of understanding and combating racism. It could be thought that racism and the experience of racism is strictly an issue for people of color. Greg challenged this assumption by stating that since the follower of Christ is to love others as they would want to be loved, the sin of racism is to be confronted by all people. What affects a person of color also necessarily affects the follower of Christ who is a European-American. The only way to sustain this God-given perspective of others is to die to self.

Hide Extended Summary

Downloads & Resources

Audio File
Study guide (opens new window)
Slides


Focus Scripture:

Subscribe to Podcast Buy Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

 

testimonial-icon

"I was incredibly blessed by everyone who came out to the clean-up event to serve neighborhood seniors. It literally brought me to tears knowing that there are amazing people out there restoring my hope in what it means to love and serve each other."

– Merrick Community Services staff member