We human beings are funny creatures. And we Christian human beings are funny new creatures. Sometimes we take God’s commands and stand them on their heads. Here’s what I mean.
Philippians 2:4 says we should look to the interests of others. Yet sometimes I hear believers say, “No one takes an interest in me. No one reaches out to me.” The Bible doesn’t tell us to make sure people are taking an interest in us, but that we should take an interest in others. If we want others to take reach out to us, we should reach out to others. Jesus said whatever you want others to do for you, do for them. Sow what you want to reap.
I’ve heard folks say, “I quit going to small group because I wasn’t getting anything out of it.” Oh, we forgot. Small group is all about you. God commands us to not neglect fellowship but instead to stir up and encourage one another (HEB 10.24-25). So we should go with the attitude of how can I contribute tonight, how can I encourage or pray for someone. When we go to a meeting, we should ask Jesus for opportunities to serve and bless.
Another way we stand God’s commands on their heads is by focusing on the things God commands others to do while neglecting what we should do. I’ve heard husbands say, “My wife doesn’t submit to me,” while not considering whether they are loving their wives as Christ loved the church. Don’t focus on what God commands others to do, but what he commands you to do.
How about standing God’s command to worship him on its head?
Ever heard someone say, “Worship didn’t do much for me this morning.” Awww, we’re sorry your majesty wasn’t entertained and enthralled today. Maybe we should get Paul McCartney to lead worship next Sunday. Sorry the smoke machines didn’t fill the room and a few of the explosions were softer than normal. Maybe we should ask Jesus if he got anything out of our worship this morning.
The main problem in all these examples is our tendency to focus on ourselves instead of God or others. The more we can get our eyes off ourselves and on to Jesus and others, the more of the Lord’s joy we’ll experience.
photo by travelling.steve