When I was in high school and college I was very much into the straight edge, punk and skater scene. I listened to a lot of bands and paid attention to a lot of famous skaters and just knew that I would never, ever change. I would like what I liked and not worry about what anyone thought about it.
One of the big, big no-no's in that culture is becoming a sellout. For a long time I (like most others in that culture), considered anyone who went to a big music label or changed anything about themselves as a sellout. Being called a "sellout" was fightin' words. You didn't do it lightly and you didn't take it lightly. It meant that you had decided to trade your genuine, true self for money or something else equally materialistic. In that culture, it was pretty much the ultimate sin.
Of course, being older now, I realize that most of those bands and people that "sold out," didn't really become disingenuous at all. In fact their music usually barely changed. They just got paid for it. As someone with a family of my own to take care of, I now respect the choices they made. The true "sellouts" were few and far between.
I've also learned that being a sellout is one of the best things you can become. If it is to the right bidder.
In Luke's gospel Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’." Let's break that down.
"Love the Lord your God," is pretty simple, right? As God's children we need to love Him. We know how to love our friends, family, and even strangers, so this one doesn't need much explanation here.
"with all your heart," is a little bit harder. This requires our full love. We don't get to split a little off and offer it. God wants us to love Him even more than we love our children, and even our spouses. He wants all of it, nothing less will suffice.
"with all your soul," is even more difficult. This requires our very being, the essence of who we are, to be wrapped up in Him. The love we have for God needs everything we have. There is nothing hidden from Him, and we can't try to hide it in the first place. We need to lay on Him everything (everything) if we are to love Him how we should.
"with all your strength and with all your mind," is perhaps the hardest out of all these. I say these are the hardest because it requires action. It requires movement. Loving with our heart and our soul are inner things. They can't be seen plainly with our eyes. To love God with all our strength and mind, however, is a very different beast. It means that we make those choices for God, even when we don't want to. It means we go to worship and help others and do what is right and stand up for the weak and everything else, even when there is something else going on or we feel like we can't. It means giving up things in our physical life in order to love God.
It means selling out.
It means giving not only your heart, not only your soul, to God. It means giving Him your arms, your legs, your head, everything.
So let's not go in circles. Let's make this plain. Please keep in mind that I am saying these things to myself as well, because I need to hear it too.
If you are replacing prayer and study in God's Word playing games or watching TV, stop it. If you are going to a sporting event (whether you are playing or not), instead of going to worship, stop it. If you are not going and meeting people and talking to them about Jesus because you feel weak or embarrassed, stop it. Instead, do one thing.
God did not say, "as long as you don't consistently ignore me it's no problem." He also didn't say, "just try to move your schedule around, but if you can't, don't worry about worshiping me, it'll be fine." Instead what He says is "Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength."
C.S. Lewis once wrote, "The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I
were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up
myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality
of my own."
It's the only way you will become truly real.