Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why You Doing That?

John 5:44
How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?

Many times my youngest son will want me to watch him play basketball, hit a golf ball, or turn a flip. He is persistent in saying, “Daddy, Daddy will you watch me?” He will try his best to perform or execute correctly because he just wants to hear his daddy say, “good job!” It’s not the same when he’s just playing with his brothers without me watching, it turns into more of a competition and they seldom complement one another unless it is something spectacular.

In thinking about my sons playing it reminds me of how we live out our lives as adults. We start out seeking the approval and adoration of our fathers but end up in a tense competition with our peers, straining for their approval and killing ourselves trying to get it.

Why do we do what we do? Many of us leave the desire to please our Heavenly Father and press our way into the competitive fields of school and career hoping to be accepted and commended by our peers. There is a phase that all children go through somewhere around their teen-age years where the approval of parents doesn’t equal the approval of peers. It is only through maturity that we come back full circle and have a healthy balance of parental approval and peer approval. But in the middle of our growth and maturity it becomes less and less about pleasing our Father and more about hearing compliments from our peers. If you are not careful you can get stuck pleasing people and never make it back to pleasing your father.

The Pharisees were more concerned about public esteem than they were about pleasing their heavenly Father. They made more effort trying to please people with long prayers, fancy robes and demanding important seats in public places than they did serving God. Jesus was more concerned about pleasing his father and less about what people thought about him.

How liberating that must have been for Jesus to live his life focused on pleasing his father than being imprisoned by the opinions of his peers. Now this doesn’t mean you live with arrogance and disregard for your brothers and sisters. There is a balance between pleasing God and loving people. Jesus put it in perspective when he said the two greatest commandments were: Mark 12:30-32 (New International Version)
30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'[a] 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b]There is no commandment greater than these."

Whenever you set out to do something always ask yourself why am I doing this? And remember:

1. It is more expedient to please God than to waste your time trying to please men.

2. Don’t compare yourself amongst yourselves. Live up to what God has created you to be not the opinions of others.

3. Only what you do for Christ will last.

Dear God, keep me humble and watch me today. When I know that my heavenly father is watching me it gives me strength, and focus. I just want to hear you say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a few things now come on up and I’ll make you ruler over many.” Daddy please watch me!

In Jesus Name,

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