I get so upset with things and people. Does that please God?
Sometimes, I fly off the handle. I know that does not please Him.
There are a few times when I seem to get it right. I help someone or encourage someone, and I feel pretty good about myself. But I wonder if I am supposed to pat myself on the back for something like that. Does that please God? Probably not, especially since its at those times that I think I'm a pretty good person.
Often, I have to remind myself of what Jesus said to the disciples when they became angry with James and John after their mother asked Jesus to let her sons sit in places of honor, when Jesus came into His Kingdom:
"This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest; and if one of you wants to be first, you must be the slave of the others— like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people." Matthew 20:26-28Is my attitude like the attitude that Jesus had? Am I willing to reduce myself, to be last, just to please God and to lead others to the Savior? Most often, honestly, the answer is, "No." For instance, if I am in line at the store and a new line opens, and I am next, I expect to be called first to the new cashier. If I am driving and the person in front of me is driving too slow, I speed around them so that I can get in front of them. If I am in a race, I am not happy if I do not win (of course, the fact that I did not train does not cause me to adjust my expectations). I expect and want to be first. I expect and want to be the best. I expect and want to get the reward, to be number one. Unlike me, Jesus gave up all expectation of being first in order to just please His Father, God. He only expected to ensure that the world might be saved through Him. He gave up His life for my life. In a sense, He became last, so that I might have a seat in the Kingdom.
Hmmm. I wonder how I can possibly do that. How can I stop wanting, expecting, striving to be first? How can I take on Christ's attitude of a servant. How do I not expect to be served, but look for opportunity to serve - everyone, anyone. How can I do that at work, at the supermarket, at church ... at home? How can I not think that I should have a position? After all, my whole life I have been taught that if I work hard, study, get good grades, do what is right and follow the rules, then my work will speak for me, I will be noticed for doing good, I will be rewarded, and I will be propelled to front of the line. I work hard. I expect that reward.
It's funny how God is so different from us. We work to get things for ourselves. Jesus worked to give things to us. All of His work on the Cross was of no benefit to Himself. Think about it. What did Jesus gain for suffering, bleeding, being beaten, bruised, spit on, scorned and agonizing in a slow, painful death? He didn't get saved from it. He was already God. He was already the Most High. He was already on the throne. In fact, He left His throne to do these things. What did He get from it?
He got the blessing of pleasing God and giving His beloveds grace and mercy. Not diamond rings. Not bigger houses. Not luxury cars. And not even six figure incomes. No. He gained nothing material, but everything spiritual.
It is mind-boggling. Foolish even. To think that Jesus left the throne, and didn't not think that it was criminal to be stripped of His heavenly position, while He walked with ignorant human being who only thought of themselves and how they might benefit from knowing Him. We are just like James, John and mama Zebedee. How silly we all are! Since the beginning of time, human beings have been striving for position, when God want us to desire possession. Possession by Him through His Holy Spirit who continually nudges us to turn to Jesus and His way of humility and servanthood.
God wants us to give up everything to get Him. We strive and strive. God wants us to serve and serve.
Just been thinking about pleasing God. And through it all, I have come to finally realize that God doesn't want me to work harder for Him. He doesn't want me to give Him more things and more effort. He has everything. I cannot add anything to His abundance. He only wants me to give Him me. To give Him my self, my thoughts, my heart, my desires, my will, and yes, even my competitive, me-first attitude.
He does not want me to be high-minded. He wants me to be Him-minded - thinking about loving Him. Thinking about loving His humanity. Thinking about knowing Him. Thinking about being known by Him. Thinking about turning my life upside down for Him. Thinking about being stripped of everything that has made me, me, in order that I might be the me that He designed me to be. Not thinking about being first. Not thinking about getting positions. Thinking about giving Him my all. Thinking about serving Him wherever, whenever and however He says. Thinking about serving His people. And doing ...
I've been thinking a lot lately. Thinking that I want God to be pleased, even if that means that no one else will.
Be Well, Be Blessed, Trust the Savior,
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