2 Corinthians 5:15 – and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
“I just need a little ‘me time.’” That little sentence finds its way to the lips of people all across the nation, all across the economic spectrum, and all across vast religious differences. People of any ilk seem to give themselves to the notion that, when things get tough, we deserve, in fact we need, to take time to focus on ourselves, our wants, and our preferences.
Without question, I agree that we all do better when we have an appropriate level of rest and leisure in our lives. But we need to be careful when we start talking about deserving to have time for ourselves. We need to watch out when we start saying that the world around us owes us a break. And I believe that Paul’s words in the above passage ought to give us that warning clearly.
Christ died for our sins—that is true. Why? Of course there are many reasons. Jesus died for the glory of God. He died in order that God could be seen as both just and the one who justifies sinners (Romans 3:24-ff). He died to demonstrate God’s love (Romans 5:8). He died so that we who believe would be forgiven (John 3:16). But here in 2 Corinthians 5:15, God makes it clear that one of the reasons that Jesus died is so that we would no longer live for ourselves, but for him.
Now, do the quick check on yourself. How do you live for yourself instead of for Christ? Is it with your leisure, your “me time”? Is it with a particular pleasure that you insist on having regardless of what God commands? Is it with how you spend your time on weekends or in your retirement? Where are you living specifically for yourself instead of For the glory of Christ?
Christians, Jesus did not die in order to empower you to live for yourself. If living your dream, having money, and doing whatever you want is how you envision having your best life, then Jesus certainly did not die so that you could have that sort of best life. Jesus died in order to give you life far better than one focused on self, on possessions, on petty and temporary pleasures. Jesus died so that you could have the soul-satisfying joy of living for him. Let us not lose out on that joy as we look for the quick fix satisfactions that this world offers us.
No, I’m not opposed to entertainment. I’ll watch a little TV, catch a little MLB, or read some books just for fun this week. But I will also do my very best to recognize that I do not deserve such a privilege; God does not owe me such pleasures. It is my responsibility to remember that, in my fun activities, I still live for the purpose of the glory of Christ. Christ died so that I would live for him, and such living is my aim.