I am sure you’ve never been out in public with young children and been embarrassed by their behavior. Never, not you. Not your kids. But just…
If you are a mom, hopefully your kids treated you well on Mother’s Day. Homemade cards, thoughtful little presents, sweet words, all of it makes the day extra sweet.
But I bet every mom has had the thought at some point, what I really want from my children on Mother’s Day is not so much these extra gifts, but rather I just want my kids to joyfully do what they are supposed to do—to be kind to their siblings, to obey with a good attitude, to get their stuff done, etc. Am I right?!
It’s almost humorous to have your kids wanting to make you so happy one minute, and then do the very thing that displeases you the next! Basically, if they really want to honor you, they will do what honors you most.
…And just as you start to chuckle at that observation, maybe you, like me, sink in your chair realizing you do the same to God.
The Painful Look in the Mirror
As Christians, we truly want to please God, and we hopefully pursue that purpose every single day. But surely we (like our kids), have some blind spots. We probably do the right things in some areas, while totally missing it in others. The worst is when we do the “extra stuff” (a little like gifts on Mother’s Day), while entirely forgetting what’s most important to God.
I don’t know what constitutes as good “extra stuff” in your Christian life. Maybe it’s the extent to which you serve, or how long you spend praying, or the amount of money you give to church. All of those are good things, and God is pleased by them. But to state it plainly, if it’s not done with a heart of love for him or others, you are missing the boat (Matthew 22:37-40).
Or if the good stuff is done one minute, but you have a prideful, complaining, entitled heart the next, something’s not right.
Or if you’re busy “serving God” most of your day, but readily being selfish and impatient towards the people in your life the rest of the time, that’s a problem.
Our complicatedly-unholy-holiness reminds me of what Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Tithing was a good thing, but the religious leaders were failing to honor God where it counted most. And in that sense they were missing the big picture. Something I’m sure I do too.
This week, let’s ask God to show us where we are doing some of the right things, while missing the key things God is still asking us to do. Maybe your issues will be heart issues, maybe it’s how you treat certain family members, maybe you’ll see your priorities are off. Whatever it is, may we sanctify our efforts towards holiness — so we can truly honor God in all that we do.