Lesson 11 -- first quarter 2001
February 11, 2001
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications
What were you fussing about?
"How come I'm always the one that has to give in to you?" We all know that in human relationships (even among Christians) a lot of give and take must be given and taken. But how testy we can get if we think we're doing all the giving and "they" are doing all the taking! If this kind of situation is getting you down, tell the Master about it . . . and ask Him to keep giving through you.
"You people want to do most of the jaw work and not much of the back work in this church!" Have you ever noticed how some people love to do the "high profile" committee work but manage to rarely make it to church's mowing, cleaning, painting, building, and digging projects? Doesn't that just stick in your craw? Especially if this is the second time in four months you've had to do all the mowing by yourself? Sometimes it seems we want to serve the Lord . . . if others will serve alongside us in the same capacity (and carry their share of the load, of course). If you get to thinking along these lines, tell the Master about it . . . and ask Him to keep you serving Him . . . and the Church. Even if you have to do it all by yourself . . . again.
"You are majoring on minors." Life, even the Christian life, has big issues and minor matters. We understand and accept that. But we get touchy when we think folks get the majors and minors all tangled up. By way of illustration, I ask you, The status of men's top shirt buttons (latched or unlatched) in a service--is that a major or a minor? Hmmm. Are you certain? I'd say it's a minor. That is exactly why I button it. It's not that big a deal to me, so I button it. Why should I make it a major by unbuttoning it? So the next time you think a minor is getting major attention, search yourself to see if you yourself are enlarging it! Ask the Master to help you keep the minors minor.
By the way, only on rare occasions are these complaints expressed directly and exclusively to the offender. Most of the time, we prefer to accuse one person to another. That abjectly fails to qualify as following "after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" (Romans 14:19). Rather, it is uncharitable, despicable, cowardly and unchristian. May the Lord help me (and the rest of us) to "edify one another" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Why be the greatest?
If my heart reveals what lies in other hearts, then the answer is that we want honor and respect, we want a following, we want to have our way, we want to be in charge, and on and on. By the sounds of it, we want to take the Lord's place! God forbid we should aspire to anything like that, eh?
Greatness is found in service. But make no mistake, this service doesn't serve others with the intent of achieving greatness. This service is an expression of the selfless ambition to love and bless others . . . for their sakes. That is greatness!
Striving in the presence of Jesus?!
Somehow I suspect we figure we would never do what those disciples did that night. Imagine striving, quarreling and arguing in front of Jesus. Why, of all things! We would certainly show more respect for the Lord than that.
Yes, indeed. But we so easily forget that any striving, quarreling and arguing we do is indeed in the His presence! Let's not forget His continual presence.
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