Matthew 23:27 (NKJV)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Have you ever gone to a dinner or special function and after the meal is served you ask, is that all? How about sitting in a team meeting then after the positions or assignments are announced you’re left wondering, what about me? Maybe you sat listening to a speaker but you tune them out because you can’t see how what they are saying concerns you?
The quest for the larger piece or greater amount seems to be ingrained in the human soul. Where even if we reach the top of the mountain, there are times we are still looking for more. We can see this all around us as we compete against everyone else who is on the same quest. It is difficult to not let our true emotions show when we let the word MORE dominate our thinking.
We won the game by 23 points but it should have been More, I was given money for my birthday but they should have given me More, the boss stopped in our department but he should have paid attention to me More. These situations may have never happened to you, but if you really think about it you could probably think of others. Simple things like you see your neighbor with that new car or television and you want one, you work hard but instead of getting the promotion they give you more to do, or you are in a group and you have something to say but no one wants to let you talk.
This is everyday life and too often we make things personal to the point where we only see or hear what we want to. This also affects everything on the inside and our outside. How we feel, what we say, and even how we act or react. It is difficult to find peace in anything we do if we keep stirring the calm waters around us as we search for more.
I used to let too many little things affect my outlook until they accumulated and I found myself getting upset or even angry. A few years ago I started to look at things a little differently and it actually helped release a lot of the pressure I was creating for no reason. Instead of, I want one of those too, it was do I really need that? Far too often we let our jealousies or unhealthy desires turn into emotional turmoil.
Even with certain goals in my life I noticed I was my own worst enemy. I want that job or promotion even though I may not be qualified, or I want that extra money even though I didn’t put in the work. This line of thinking led to the group won’t pay attention to me being replaced with, was my comment or action really necessary. Depending on the environment or the group we can be drawn into that negative energy to heap verbal or physical destruction upon another. There was a time that I added that unnecessary defaming comment about a person who was not there or wanted credit for an idea that wasn’t mine.
A lot of this changed the night I rededicated my life to Christ when I was given a Christian poem, but I had no idea what to do with it. It took me a while before I really shared it with anyone because I had to get beyond my self-imposed misgivings about how it would be received. I had to learn that it was not for me to worry about, but just to share the message that I was given.
My next breakthrough still did not come till two years later when I shared the poem with the person who inspired it. I was again worried about even approaching him till I placed it in the Lord’s hands with a simple prayer. “Lord, if this is to happen show me how.” The opportunity was soon there and after I spoke with Bobby I thanked the Lord for allowing it to happen. After that I was given more poems and commentaries to write which I shared with those around me.
The whole process helped me to learn that it is not about me which is a similar message we find in Luke 10:40-41, But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Jesus’ response really makes this point, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.” Martha is much like many of us trying to worry about the things we feel are important, but are these actions being done in a way that are to try to impress someone else?
In a recent conversation I later realized that I kept referring to the church I attend as my church. It is not my church, it is God’s church because we are all part of the body of Christ. Not different bodies wearing different shirts that say Catholic, Protestant, or whatever we wish to call our congregation. We should all be standing together wearing the same shirt, “Christian.”
Thus when we serve, it is not for our notoriety but to humbly be there for others and to honor Him. Then when we sit and listen to the weekly message we shouldn’t be watching the clock or thinking we are too good to listen. Every message and scripture is a chance to learn something new. New guidance, new strength, or new opportunities are there to be discovered.
Jesus calls us today as He did in Mark 8:34, When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” The question is, can we deny our natural tendencies? So take a few minutes to reflect, then join me to look past our wants and desires to find the peace we seek in life and the Lord. Also, please enjoy “As I Provide For All.”
AS I PROVIDE FOR ALL
Lord the things that you have given me, so many lessons that I learn,
Even with all the blessings I receive there is more for which I yearn.
Sometimes it seems I do not have enough or all the things I need,
I think that just a little more of what I want to happiness it can lead.
Well maybe not just possessions but also the answers I wish to see,
Fore what I have been hearing around me doesn’t mean anything to me.
Though my hands are stretched toward you there is still an emptiness inside,
The disillusion that I am now feeling it getting much harder for me to hide.
My child, you are trying to pick and choose what you see and hear,
Then if it is not what you want you try to change how it appears.
There are many times things happen in life that were just meant for you,
Some that brought the answers you sought while others didn’t get through.
Humbly open your heart and listen for the words that I have spoken,
Then faithfully follow where they lead to see what I have awoken.
My love will provide the strength along the way and catch you when you fall,
You must remember you are only one of my children As I Provide For All.
Simple Faith Christian