Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. -Philippians 2:4
Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to. You're spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble."
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.
Don't bad-mouth each other, friends. It's God's Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You're supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others? -James 4:1-12
It's come to my attention today that we live in a world where perfection, happiness, and what feels good is our aim. This isn't to say that we haven't always lived here, because we have, but today it's especially obvious to me.
The world we live in airbrushes our size 00 models so they look "perfect." Our stars get married and divorced again as though it's a race to see who can have the most exes. We have entire newspapers and magazines devoted to gossiping and tearing each other down.
And it's easy to get sucked into all of that. In my mind, it makes sense to want to do things that make you feel good. It seems like that would be great. But what about all of those important things that we have to do that DON'T feel good? What about the diapers I have to change, the fights I have to break up between my kids, the endless hours of Lalaloopsy dolls as my daughter tells me how to play? What about dinners and puking kids and mountains of laundry? None of that makes me feel good. Should I just stop doing it?
No! In my Bible study on Ruth today, the author talked about the fact that God loves the humble. He works through the humble. And sometimes, he brings us to a humble place to prepare our hearts for future blessings.
What God doesn't love is the proud. What he never pushes in the Bible is "do only what feels good and makes you happy." What he DOES encourage is to love your enemies, help others, serve others. It's a totally different message than what we are served daily from the world.
My challenge for you and me today: Serve someone else today. Let God use you in another person's life and you'll be surprised how rewarding it truly is. If this isn't something you'd normally do, choose someone easy. But do it. Pick up another mom's child from school, grab an extra milk and take it to your friend who just had a baby, pay for the person's coffee behind you in line. Just do something with an attitude of helping others!