Sometimes, we need to think about our motivations.
Today in church, we were in 1 Corinthians 10 and looking at how we live in God’s grace and how our consciences are/aren’t impacted by this.
The example given by Paul in the letter is the Isrealites and how, despite God so apparently delivering them from Egypt, they continued to sin against God.
We always say that if something that huge were to happen to us, we would most definitely change our lives. That it would be easier. But really, would it be?
I have had some mind blowing experiences with God.
When I was 8, I prayed until I was blue in the face that God would heal my Aunt. She felt better for a day and a half. I swore that from that point on, God must be real. Then she died. And I changed my mind, my little 8 year old mind for awhile.
When I was 18, I met a stranger in a hospital cafeteria who seemed to know me despite us never meeting. She told me that I should be a doctor one day. And that I would succeed, even if I felt discouraged. I still think that was a God thing. Even though things were never easy.
When Patrick and I were dating, things got rough and I wanted to peel. But, in a variety of ways, including me finding specific passages, receiving specific advice and even hearing what I believe was the voice of God, I was told that we would get married one day and to stick with him. I did. And we did get married.
So, you would think that it would be easy to rearrange my life for God.
But, no. It isn’t.
Because humans are stupid.
Okay, that might not be the nicest way to put it, but really that is the truth. Our learning curves are pretty darn shallow.
And that is exactly what we got at in church today. That we struggle with making our decisions as good as we should. That our conscience does not always piece together with the other stuff.
We need to look at what motivates us.
Seeing can help believing, but it doesn’t bring about real change.
Often times, we do or don’t do something because of rules. But, it takes more than rules to make real change. It takes a change of heart, a change of conscience. And that doesn’t just come with seeing something.
Obviously, this is something that I struggle with.
Everyone does, I think.
It isn’t always just what you do, but the reasoning behind it. For instance, some areas are matters of personal choice and conviction, but you can’t impose your conviction on someone. In the same way, it isn’t fair to impose your lack of conviction on someone.
I think we often like to do that, though. We like to feel like we are right. At least, I like to be right.
But, it isn’t fair to shake someone else’s belief. Especially if it is in a grey area that really, in the grand scheme of things makes no difference.
Beyond that there is the whole issue as to why we do the things we do. Not just our convictions, but our day to day actions. I know my reasoning isn’t always the best.
Theoretically, we are supposed to do everything to the glory of God.
Honestly, I don’t.
Sometimes I do things because I know it will impress someone. Or because it will satisfy me.
I am a big people pleaser.
It works well because I want to please God. But sometimes, He is secondary to my evaluation on a particular rotation or not looking like an idiot in front of stranger X who is going to visit us for 5 minutes.
That isn’t fair to God. That isn’t the motivation I should have.
Some of my convictions are people based too. Some of my decisions to believe something is wrong and I shouldn’t do it are based more on what other people would think and not what God would think (though sometimes do we really know what God would think?). Again, you shouldn’t do something to make someone else stumble or to spite someone, but on the other hand, people pleasing should not be our main goal either.
The whole message/discussion got me thinking about my motivations. And redirecting some of my motivation. And re-evaluating some of my convictions. It is tough to do. But sometimes difficult things are worthwhile.
If I had to list everything I want to change/re-assess, we would be here all day. But seriously, I realized last night, even before all of this that I have been to focused on what people think and not enough on what God thinks and it needs to stop… Partly for my own sanity.
The beauty part is that God is around to help. And I have a superstar husband who is encouraging no matter what.
Also, we sang this song in worship today and I think it sums up the sentiment of this whole post.