I recently read a blogpost on how many churches teach the Word based on a reward system. Follow Jesus with all your heart and you will get xyz. That essentially summed it up for me. It was specifically referring to churches teaching women to “wait” on their husbands—to prepare themselves, in Christ, and their husband will be sent to them…sooner or later. But he will be sent after we are fully satisfied with him. My church never specifically taught this but I can see how this could be a hidden message in sermons. And it’s not technically hidden, but rather misinterpreted I believe. The bible says
4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. ~Psalm 37:4-7
Matthew 21:22 says "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
So I can easily see how we could get wrapped up in serving God…and expecting certain things from him—expecting what we desire and ask for. Especially when it seems that others (non-Christians) are getting everything. We watch our friends get married befor us. We watch as others are “living the life”. And one could think, “well as long as I’m serving God, this will all happen for me one day”. This can surely lead to disappointments. But who says what we desire is what God has planned for us? I guess I could go on and on on this and maybe I will one day but I will try to stay on task (on task referring to self-reflection) as I ramble before class this morning.
I thought the blog was an interesting read but I did not have an urge for reflection until I got to the end and saw the quote. “Follow Christ for His own sake, if you follow Him at all” and I wondered….is that what I’m doing? Am I following Christ purely out of my love for him? Or am I doing it to get something (other than inheriting his kingdom)? Surely, I’d like to think that it is out of love and nothing else; that I am content with just belonging to God. I praise him for the good and the bad because I always try to find reasons in why things happen. But am I doing this purely out of love?
Taking an uncomplicated look at things, I love my parents unconditionally. They did not give me everything I asked for, yet I still love them. I love them and I know they love me and did for me what they thought was best. And I find few faults with how they raised my brother and me. Sure, I may have been disappointed at the time they said “no” but in hindsight, I see the reasons behind their decisions.
That being said, I believe there is always a reason for everything. We may not know it or understand it until much later, but that does not mean the reason is not there and that God is not constantly providing for us. So we should love and follow him simply because of who he is! Not because of what we want him to do for us. If I’m not there yet, I pray that God brings me to that place; that place of unconditional love for him.