As a Christian I celebrate my faith and willing share what it has taught me. I do recognize people of faith throughout our world may have different spiritual perspectives. Together we can explore what our framework of faith teaches us about what we have in common. Every world religion has one universal principal – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Usually called the Golden Rule. Advent, for me, is a time for us to explore one way to grow as a human being. There are Twelve Steps (taken from AA) that help us gain greater control of our life. Today we look at the second step of moving from selflessness and self centeredness toward a more altruistic life.
2. I have come to believe that a “Power” greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
This step assumes that to live only for yourself is “insane.” Living only for yourself distances you from others and ultimately causes you to be isolated and alone looking to yourself to solve all the problems of your life. The definition of insanity is, as you have often heard, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Billions of people have discovered there IS a power beyond themselves that they are able to tap into and draw from in order to move from self centered to other centered.
Mortimer Adler, an American philosopher wrote, “We are selfish when we are exclusively or predominantly concerned with the good for ourselves. We are altruistic when we are exclusively or predominantly concerned with the good of others.” It is our Higher Power that we tap into which can take us toward that new reality. As a Christian it is the life of Jesus that I look to as that Power – how he lived, what he taught, and the hope he gives, show me the way. In John 4:24 Jesus said to a woman who was at the fringe of society and addicted to a lifestyle that was killing her, “For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Our addiction to selfishness will slowly drain us of real life. It is realizing that there is a limitless power of truth and spiritual refreshment available that will give us freedom and life. That power is discovered not merely in some “inward journey” but in the journey of altruism – living and serving as our Creator intended.