Everyone remembers the recommendation from President Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country”. If everyone asked this, how much better our country would be. In addition, so many people seem to seek God because of what he does for them. Sure it is awesome that he forgives our sin and conquers death for us . It is great to feel an emotional lift in church and have him come through just in time to help us with jobs and relationships and finances. Still, isn’t he worthy of worship even if he does nothing else for me than what he has already done? A truly repentant person who has been forgiven should long to give back with no expectations of more. We should be filled with grateful worship even if he calls us to be abandoned and ridiculed by family, friends, church and world. Even if we are privileged to be fellow sufferers with him. It should be natural to ask (not what more can God do for me?) but what can I do for his kingdom and glory?
The same is true with the people in my life. You see, it is just not about me and how they make me look or feel. Instead I should ask, what are their needs? what is their situation, how might they be feeling, what kind of useful truth have I been given that I might share, what help can I offer.
AGAPE love = seeking the other’s best interest no matter the cost to me.
When I was in the military, God helped me pour my efforts into helping the patients stabilize; help the staff learn, grow and advance their carreers; and make my boss look good. A year after I finished, the Lord had them mail me an Air Force commendation medal. No pomp, no cerimony just the Lord saying, “Well done you good and faithful servant.”
I do well to remember, I am saved and destined for heaven and spending all eternity with Jesus. The only reason I am here is to minister to others. Paul said that he was torn between two things. 1. Wanting to be with the Lord and 2. Wanting to stay and help others. Amazingly he decided that, for right then, staying here and helping others was even better than being with the Lord!
The devil gets us to do the percentage insanity. I’ll do 50% and you do 50% and we will have a great marriage, friendship, church etc. The problem is our math. I might wind up feeling that I have done 70% and they have done 30. But they believe that it is they who have done 70% and we have done little. Everyone winds up doing to little and feeling hurt and abused.
God asks me to do my part regardless of the other person’s participation. He asks me to give my all, not some comparison percentage. He reminds me that he is the whole source of my reward and that the entire universe is too small to describe what he has given me and plans to do for me. Put another way, I may reduce my spending and being spent for others when I finish paying my debt and catch up on all the further investing he is doing in my life.
Dear Lord, teach me to rest in the fact that it is more blessed to give than to receive.