I thought, somewhat inspired by my friend Adam, that I would crack open this blog again. Yes I know I have more than one blog, but I think the organised part of me like to keep the topics separate. Obviously there will be merging of topics. For those that have not been here before, this blog is about my faith as a Christian. I'm going to try to write reflections about what I've been learning whilst in Cambodia. I'll try to keep them short, and it would be great if you could contribute your thoughts too. A lot of these posts will be about topics that my brain is still working out, so it would be great to have your thoughts.
"For all the others look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ." Philippians 2:21
I believe in a generous God, who shapes your very character and gives you gifts and talents to use. Not only does he give you these talents; he has a plan for them. It's great to think that I've been made in a particular way for a particular purpose. Although it will differ on the exact details, I believe everybody's purpose is pretty much the same: to give God glory.
As humans, we often have a problem with that. We want the glory! We want to be told how great, kind, clever we are.
But there are problems with this. First it leads to pride. We become praise-seekers and we think more highly of ourselves than we perhaps should.
The second is that we become self-serving. We do things so that we feel good about ourselves. And we deny people the opportunity to get to know the God behind all it. This can be disastrous! There have been times when I thought I was the world's answer to a set of problems. With my generosity, ability to encourage and general positivity, I felt like I was able to change the world (at least in a certain context). It took God dragging me out of that context to realise that it wasn't me they needed. They need God. It's the only way that real, meaningful, eternal change could happen. Rather than using God-given talents to gain praise, I needed to use them to show them their need for God. However, I'm still realising this and I still keep telling God, "But they need me!" It's going to be a long road until I realise they don't.
I need your wisdom! If you have any thoughts or advice on this let me know. Here are some questions I would really appreciate your views on.
- How do we change from praise-seekers to praise-givers? How do we make sure God gets the glory for how he's made us?
- How can we tell when we are doing things because we want compliments or praise? How do we prevent it?
- How do you explain to those that don't share your beliefs that you believe God made you this way for his plans without sounding like a crazy kook?
- Have you had times when you realised you were preventing others getting to know God because of the attention you were receiving?