One of my ‘friends’ was organising her child’s birthday party. Knowing it would help cut down on costs and also be tasty, I made the cake as well as the finger food. I slaved for a couple of days and was satisfied with the outcome and so was she. She didn’t know how to cook much so she thanked me.
The guests started to arrive. Her aunt looked at the spread on the table and exclaimed why she wasn’t asked to help instead of labouring all alone. My friend simply stated without batting an eyelid that she had prepared everything by herself and it was all ok. I was standing right there! Needless to say I was hurt big time!
So many people take the credit for what wasn’t their work – this is seen as ‘plagiarism’ in the educational field. It happens in all areas of life – yes it happens – but it’s not pleasant. Being used by people and then being chucked out of their life with most likely blame shifting (as they have a need to be the good ones – it’s part of their personality) too is never a pleasant experience.
When we do that to others – maybe consciously, maybe not – it’s not hard to ‘use’ God as well. We go running to God for our needs, we look to Him as the miracle worker, ask Him to intervene in our situations. However many of us most of the time have the wrong motives. We want our lives to be comfortable and without issues and we want to look good and be exalted among other people. I have known of Christians praying for funds for a lavish wedding so that the non Christians around them won’t shame God as after all God is the treasure chest right? Many people think it’s their right to demand stuff from God to look good in other peoples’ eyes and demand Him to release them from their distress.
It reminds me of the parable that Jesus presents in Matthew 18:23-35.
The King cancelled the debt of 10,000 BAGS of GOLD for a servant as he begged for the king to be patient with him. Yet that very servant went out and found another servant who owed him 100 SILVER COINS. See the difference of the amount – bags vs coins, 10,000 vs 100, gold vs silver. Yet the servant who had been pardoned got the other one thrown into prison! Of course when the King heard about it he called the servant ‘wicked’ and handed him over to be TORTURED and throw into jail. Jesus then makes it clear that this is how the Heavenly Father will treat each one of us who do not forgive our brother or sister from our hearts.
And many of us do this a lot – we demand God to relieve us from our distress and we ‘testify’ to it. Yet we go and treat others the way we were treated, the very distress that we wanted God to release us from. We ‘use’ God for our own gains, we take ‘credit’ for being ‘great’ people without remembering God as the Source. We ‘use’ God by not extending that same love and mercy we received to others. We ‘use’ God by ignoring Him after getting the help we wanted. On the other hand if we do give credit where it is due, and we have a relationship with the Father, we will know that ALL are equal in His eyes.
When people approach God for intimacy, a relationship of love then their desires are not self centred but they resonate with the desires that God has for them.. and when they are touched by His love they extend it to others with immense gratitude. They become capable of God’s love by stepping into the shoes of the others and being able to show EMPATHY as well as GRACE.
Is there anyone you need to forgive today? Remember Jesus has clearly stated how God will treat us if we haven’t forgiven our brother and sister in Christ FROM OUR HEARTS! Often we wrong the other and treat them as if they have wronged us.. Let’s run into His presence and allow Him to reveal to us what needs to be set right. Hurting one another, not forgiving one another, pushing another into a distress we have come out of etc etc is the OPPOSITE of LOVE. God has called us to LOVE ONE ANOTHER especially those in Christ. No amount of good works will earn us brownie points. Not loving one another as ourselves simply put is SIN.
Let’s pray for God to search our hearts today and reveal the areas of hardened hearts – where we use one standard for us and another standard for God and others! May we get rooted in God and bear the fruit of the Spirit which comes by the healthy rooting and thus may our selfishness and other acts of be replaced with the fruit.