This is great Seth. Thanks for this.
Science just proved that Jesus was right. Just when the modern media was beginning to write him off (see my last post), an article in the New York Times describes Adam Grant, a Wharton professor whose studies are showing that following Jesus pays.
You would think that an efficient, focused leader is the one who gets ahead. But Grant has found that the law of love is actually more powerful than the law of efficiency. In fact, his studies show that leaders who love others unconditionally are the ones who get ahead.
Grant believes that helping others – loving them unconditionally – is actually the best way to live. He describes a way of living that seems counter-intuitive to secular society, but right in step with Jesus. Of course Jesus disrupted the religious establishment when he told his followers to love without conditions and to stop keeping score, but who believes that anymore?
Up until the time that Jesus came along, religion had been all about keeping score. But Jesus said, "No more tit-for-tat stuff…you’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others." Matt. 5:42,48
Those of us who follow Jesus try to live this way because it's what he modeled and it's how he instructed us as his disciples to live. But now the rest of the world is catching up to the fact that it's actually a better way to live. We as human beings feel more fulfilled when we are able to give to others without expectation of receiving anything in return.
It's a dynamic that we see on short-term mission trips all the time. As our missionaries go to places where people are too poor to help themselves, they find great joy in giving to others. And they are inevitably blown away when those who they intended to help find ways to outgive them.
Grant has documented this principle and written about it in a book called “Give and Take.”
Grant puts people into three categories, Givers, Takers, and Matchers. While the number of Givers is proportianately small, they are the ones who inevitably get ahead in life.
Following Jesus takes faith. After all, he said crazy things like, "I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." We can't seem to escape this inward need for proof that he was who he said he was – the son of God, crazy like a fox.
In light of that, I always find it gratifying when science shows that our faith is a reasonable one. When we make Jesus Lord, we follow someone who didn't just conform religious principles to science, but who actually created science and used scientific principles to create the universe.
That's the very science that is just now making discoveries about the reality of what Jesus taught. I haven't always followed him, but the longer I live, the more his way of living makes sense.
(smiling) God’s laws are greater than our attempts at ordering the world.
This is exciting! The reason I came back to following Jesus is because the research in my field – Positive Psychology – is proving Jesus to be right! Awesome post, Seth!
Thanks, AJ. I love it.
Hope you are well.
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