The approval of God.
I can’t be good enough to win God’s favor.
There’s no way that my good deeds can ever out weigh my bad. One bad undoes oh so much good.
One thought. One word. One action. One harsh moment. One unkindness. One thoughtlessness. One selfish deed. One hurt. One unguarded second. One misstep. One misguidance. One uncharitable anything. One careless reply. One burst of anger.
One of anything mentioned above can wipe out any amount of gentleness, kindness, thoughtfulness, selflessness, helpfulness, love, patience, self-control, consideration, sympathy, sacrifice….
One might say, “I have the right to feel…,” or. “I have a right to say…,” or, “I have a right to do….”
But, in truth as believers in Jesus (believers in who He was, what He did, where He went, where He is, who He is, and who He will be forever) we’ve given up our rights. As a believer in and follower of/servant of Jesus…I have no rights.
I’ve no right to say, or do, or behave in any way contrary to the Way of Jesus and revealed will of God.
If I do otherwise it means I’m either unfamiliar with Jesus and His way, or I’m not versed in what Scripture says about God and God’s will, or I’ve decided to go my own way and do my own thing. speak my own mind, draw a line and defend my rights.
For Lent I gave up the approval of others and took on the approval of God.
Sometimes it’s easy to work beyond and outside of the approval of others. Self can say, “What do I care what others say or think?” and the temptation is to straighten the back, open the mouth and set others straight in defense of who I am…what I do…why I do it.
And, it feels good to grow a backbone, to stand up to abusive people, to live fully into who I am without regard to whether others are in agreement with me. “This is who I am. Whether you accept me or not, you will respect me.”
But, if I’m not careful my focus narrows to Self. I become my own god. My wisdom becomes supreme. My desires rule me. Self becomes preeminent. I become those that I try the hardest not to be – in word…in thought…in deed…in angry eye-for-eye retribution as I allow the consequences of others’ actions to swell and putrefy without offering recompense, empathy…forgiveness…solution.
I become an angry god meeting out punishment in the form of withdrawal and the withholding of my blessings. Without intervention, I know the sick actions of others will infect, disease and destroy all they come in contact with. So, I stand back…arms crossed…let things play out with a “they get what they deserve” attitude.
Tired of drama, exhausted by the stupidity of others, wiped out by those who never learn and must continually repeat the same lessons over and over and over while wrecking havoc in the lives of all near them…I said “no longer will I remain silent – I will speak my mind – I will stand up and say NO…enough…it is enough.” And, had I the power to do so I would have zapped them and felt quite righteous in doing so.
An angry god…a tired god…an imperfect god…a selfish god…an unjust god…an unwise god…a dangerous god.
Why would I want to worship and serve such a god? Yet, that’s who I choose time and time again. I choose the approval of this god…Self – made in my own image.
Please, God, forgive me. I step from the throne of my heart and bow before You…my God…my KING, Jesus.
May my words, my thoughts, my actions and desires reflect Yours and Yours only. Fill me with your Spirit, empower me with Your wisdom, grant me Your understanding, help me to love.
As I die to self again, let me live in You. May Your thoughts be my thoughts…Your words, my words…Your will, my will…Your heart, my heart. May I see others as You see them and may I love them as You love them.