In our culture there is nothing worse than a sell out. I pray for the strength to be a sell out. Our enlightened Western brains prize independence above all else. The rugged individual rules the roost. We should be forever grateful that the rugged individual does not rule the universe.
Here is the One who does rule: “Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
Jesus sold out. He was completely obedient to the will of the Father. He died to self every day of his life. In his death, he gave his back to the whip, his beard to be plucked his face to be spit upon and mocked. While we all strive to be something, he made himself nothing. While we flail and grasp at vapors of greatness, and gasp and sputter when we lose control, he did not count equality with God a thing to be retained. He is the bloodied little lamb of Revelation that is really a lion. He came down to go up. He is the king of the upside-down kingdom that is really right side up. With a worldview reconciled to truth and love, selling out is a good thing.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus invites us to sell out with him. In Luke 9:57-62 Jesus tells one man, eager to follow, that he will have no place to lay his head – no human comfort. He tells another to let the dead bury their own dead, and yet another man that anyone who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Would hearing the “mind that was in Christ Jesus,” which Paul lays out in Philippians 2, have changed the mind of the rich young ruler in Luke 18 who had grasped all the commandments but couldn’t really sell out? Surely this perspective would have inspired a different decision, one that didn’t end so sadly. Has knowing the mind of Christ changed us?
It’s OK to be a sell out, just not a poser.