“All of life is a medium for relationship,” says Matt Reagan. In some cultures in the world, this statement would seem so patently obvious that folks would look at you funny if you said it. “Yes,” they might answer, “what else would life be for?”
But this is not obviously true to Americans. To us, all of our individual lives are about individual liberty and the individual pursuit of happiness. Relationships, in fact, are often perceived as obstacles to our individual life goals and jettisoned as needed. We view ourselves as free agents. Community is optional, something to abandon if it interferes with our individual preferences or goals.
So this makes the Bible counter-cultural to Americans. Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39) and Paul’s to “count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3), while hard for all humans, is especially difficult for Americans to comprehend because it cuts against a core value of individual liberty.
So we need to hear what Matt says and take it to heart. His message is targeted toward college and graduate students, but all of us must come to terms with his question, “Who are you trying to help?” It’s souls that God values. So if our life goals aren’t about living souls, we need a significant biblical recalibration.