Tertullian of Carthage was born around A.D. 155. He had a fine education. His parents were pagan but he converted toward the end of the 2nd century to the Christian faith. He indicated that he was impressed by he attitudes and beliefs of Christianity. The courage and the determination of martyrs, their morality, and uncompromising belief in one God. He died an old man around A.D. 220.
Here we have one of his very profound sayings. This grabbed my spirit when I saw it. I am involved in a lot of funerals, death, hospice, etc. as a pastor. I see the struggles of family when a loved one they adore and love passes. I also see the struggle when a loved one who has led a pretty selfish life passes. They want to grief, and feel bad they don’t.
This begs some questions for us to contemplate.
- As you think of your decisions, your life, your habits, are they self-centered?
- How much do you sacrifice for family, your spouse, your kids?
- Do you spend your time wisely?
- Do you add value to others lives by encouraging?
- How do you speak to your family? Love, encouragement, fun, or are you letting anger, criticism, snottiness, be your normal communication?
- Are you doing anything missional for Jesus?
- Do you “die to self” and put others and the Lord first? Or is that uncommon?
God has so much for us, if we put Him first. Love others more. Be selfish less.
Mark 8:34-38 34Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”