Becoming beside myself

* II Corinthians 5:13-15, “For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

It wasn’t that long ago that I stumbled over this verse, but it soon became one of my favorite portions of Scripture. It is, to me, the epitome of what my life should look like in relation to Christ as my Savior. After studying this passage for a little while, God really revealed to me just how rich this passage really is, as far as meaning and application for the Christian life is concerned.

Just a few of things that I found were incredibly fascinating. I began with a word search on the phrase “beside ourselves”. The true meaning of those words is “crazy” or “out of our minds”. I immediately related that to the verse and was amazed to see that, as one who desires to serve my God, I am supposed to be going absolutely crazy for Him! My mind should be consumed with the things of Christ, that my life isn’t spent doing anything less than praising and serving Him! The thought soon crossed my mind that all believers should be this way. What a difference in this world would be made if all Christians were pursuing Christ like an incredible group of crazy people! He deserves all of our praise and adoration. How can I give anything less than my whole-hearted devotion?

“For the love of Christ controls us…” Is that really true in my life?  I had to stop and think about that for a second. Yes, I am to be serving Christ with passion and fervor that can be likened to insanity. And yet, this kind of passion is not mindless or thoughtless. I am to being gong berserk over Christ’s love, and yet it is Christ’s love that restrains me from turning into a radical who preaches fire, hell, and brimstone at every turn. It is Christ’s love that enables me to do His work in love, grace, and gentleness, presenting the truth and showing the world the way to faith in Christ.

No longer am I to live for myself. No longer am I to stand idly by, waiting for someone else to do the work that God has called me to do. Christ died and rose again that I might live a life that is completely devoted to Him. I am to be pursuing Him with reckless abandon, motivated by His great love. I once read a simple quote that has stuck with me ever since: “Christ died for you. Live for Him!”

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