The Flawed Christian Understanding of “Being Saved”
From the Christian New Testament, the book of Matthew, chapter 1, verse 21:
He will save his people from their sins.
Interesting, huh? It was to me, at least. When you hear Christians throw around the word “saved,” besides just the cheesy Mandy Moore movie of the same name, we often think of something different than what this verse tells us. We think of good people being “saved” from an evil world. Of bad people being saved from the bad people around them. There are countless other “definitions” and misuses of this word “saved.”
According to what this says, though, Jesus saves us from ourselves, above anything else.
Humans have this tendency to think of ourselves first and foremost. Some call it evolution/biology; I call it sin. It’s okay, we’re allowed to disagree. Either way, our instincts are to think of our own needs first. “I want…I need…Pay attention to me…” Even if we don’t audibly voice these things, we say them every day with our actions, our tones, our gestures, our digital presence. No matter how you cut it, humans are a selfish animal.
This is where Jesus comes in. Evolution would say that our primary purpose as humans is to procreate and keep our species alive and well. Hence the actual need for selfishness. Jesus says something that’s quite opposite of that, though. Our purpose is to serve the people around us. To give up our own selfish needs for the needs of the people we love, and more importantly, the needs of the people we don’t love.
Jesus saves us from our own selfish attitudes that ultimately lead to the destruction of our own character and the destruction of the relationships that matter the most to us.
In Him, our nature actually morphs into one of love and service instead of selfishness. It doesn’t happen overnight, and in fact it doesn’t happen entirely in a lifetime. It will always be work, but it will be a little easier with Jesus by your side.
Don’t be fooled. Being “saved” is not a whisking away to a heavenly realm. It’s a term that says we can live unselfish lives here on Earth.
What do you think? Do you agree? I’m curious to hear your thoughts, dear readers.