Just had a personal conversation with myself. Whatever it’s worth, I hope you see the Gospel and not me cause I can’t come up with thoughts about and love for Jesus on my own. Totally not my default
So let’s revisit that tweet from a few weeks ago:
Broke. Jobless. Homeless. Single. #anotherwaytobelikeJesus
But am I limiting how my life can ”be like Jesus?” What if in 5, 10, even 30 years I tweet “Rich. Dream job. Beautiful home. Married with children”, could my hashtag still be #anotherwaytobelikeJesus ?
Yes. Because it was never about those things in the first place.
“I know how to be brought low and how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Phil 4:12
Why do you focus so much on the objects or circumstances to determine God’s character or affection for you? He said, “I AM” and that is enough. He overwhelms me in love because that’s just who He is. So in the moments of overwhelming financial pressures, I am overwhelmed by God’s love in blessing me. In the moments of overwhelming financial provision, I am overwhelmed by God’s love in blessing me.
During graduation there were many testimonies given that had a common thread. Over and over I heard testimonies like this: “I didn’t know how I’d make it through school, but God abundantly blessed me and I am now graduating debt free.” “I want to thank God for blessing me with money to come back each semester.” “I struggled each semester getting money to pay my bill, and now that I’m graduating I have to future bills to pay. God is so good.
Though I didn’t get to share a testimony, I was tempted to go up to the microphone as I walked past and say, “I just want to thank God for allowing me to graduate with thousands of dollars in debt because it’s just another opportunity to grow in faith and love for Him as I sweat for years to come to pay it off. This is how he will make His name and Gospel famous in my life.”
ALL things are blessings from God. If I start thinking otherwise, like in blessings verses non-blessings, then I get into this weighted balance system where I’m weighing the differences of blessings and non-blessings in my life and hoping that God gives me more blessings so that I’ll be happy and joyful and so that I can bless God openly more because I have more blessings than non-blessings, because who would actually believe that non-blessings are worth praising God about. Yet I fall into this “money trap” so often; I mean, my praise to God before others reflect that. When did God giving me money equate with his goodness? Is life really about money? Is God really all about money? Isn’t God really all about Himself? His glory? His Kingdom?
You’ve have missed the point! It’s about God! It’s about the Gospel! Stop rating your life on balanced scales and go to the cross. “When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” II Cor 10:12. If God gives me money, I don’t thank God for money; I thank God for God. If God takes away money, I don’t plead to God for money; I plead to God for God.
And just because I have next to nothing as far as earthly possessions does not mean that I’m able be more like Jesus than the one that has an abundance of possessions. And the same vice versa. Which, by the way, leads into why the Body of Christ is so important. All other Christians have been given different gifts, connections, resources, and realms of influence. You cannot further the Gospel on our own. In Christ, you link arms with other Christians and work together to make God’s name famous to the world. “…so that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known…”(Eph 3:10) Set aside labels, set aside comfort zones, get over your reputation (you’re not that important anyway), and focus on the Gospel. Know it, study it, fall in love with it.
Want to waste your life? Keep thinking about it, analyzing it, planning, figuring it out, because by the time you’re where you think it should be “all-together,” you will probably have just missed out and wasted it all. You are not God—quit acting like it, thinking like it and giving testimonies like it. And if people disagree with you, stop going to books and opinions and twitter. Go to the Gospel. Have an answer that points back to the Gospel.
Which reminds me—you seem to have issues and slight differentiations on the views of others, especially Christians. Yes, it’s good to think critically and to understand what you believe. But what’s the use of focusing on that person so much? Again, back to the comparing problem. Look for Jesus in everything, and even if it’s just a hint, thank God that the Gospel is present in that person’s life and see how you both can take a step together towards loving God more. And if there is sin or wrong motives, why does it make you so angry? Seems I’ve read a similar story in John 8—yep, the Pharisees were pretty ticked at a woman’s immoral sin. Self-righteousness. That’s what makes me annoyed with others and their “wrong representation.” Humility would see myself as a much worse sinner than they and approach them in humility, speaking words of truth yet grace. Yeah, I can’t do that- but in Christ I can.
I’m glad for time to think through these things. I think often Satan wants me to be so busy that I don’t have time, energy or alertness to listen to the Spirit’s voice. Striving in tasks but not loving the Savior makes for a miserable life.
Jesus, I thank you for all things. They are all blessings. All things do work together for good, and that good is that I would be conformed to your image, not that I’d have material or circumstantial benefits. Change my thinking and my whole system of life. Thank you that where I am now is the best way that I can look like Jesus. And as my circumstances and stage of life change, may my constant hashtag be #anotherwaytobelikeJesus