I overheard a ridiculous comment made the other day – a wealthy person that I know, made a statement that the reason he is so rich was because God considered him to have a good heart. Have any of you heard someone say something similar to this? Let me start off by saying that #1, I’m not really sure which God he was referring to and #2 , that statement could not be further from the truth! God does not bless us with wealth because we are good or because we are deserving of anything. In reality, the truth is that God does not owe us anything because He ultimately gave us everything we will ever need, in Jesus. Now just to break it down a bit, the person who made this statement does not profess Jesus at all –in fact he has been known to make other outrageous statements, one of which also include ‘deny Jesus and I will give however much money you need to pay off any debt’. Hmmmm..sound familiar? If you recall, there was another voice who seemingly echoes that same statement in the word of God found in Matthew 4:9, ‘All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me’- it is where the tempter comes to test Jesus in the wilderness while He is on his 40 day fast.
Why I am mentioning this? I want to bring to your attention an important issue plaguing our generation, that affects not only the men but very much the women as well-which is the issue of ‘glorifying self’. I have friends and know quite a few people who take pride and love to have the nicest stuff- from cars, to the newest houses on the market, the gear, the gadgets and the latest of whatever is currently trending. When popular faces, such as those of well-known celebrities, are promoting particular products and brands, I notice people getting sucked into the fad of wanting more stuff. These people begin to own so much stuff that they don’t know when to stop because there is no limit to what they can have or want and the desire for it becomes so insatiable that they become preys to their own commodities. Having money is not the problem here, so let me clarify. The problem occurs when you are no longer a good steward of what God has given to you and you begin to boast about self. Sure, it’s nice to have a little ‘something, something’ to maybe reward yourself for working so hard, but when the want becomes a lust for more, it usually leads to competing and comparing your stuff with what the person next to you has. You then have a big problem and you might be so deep into it, that you are no longer capable of recognizing it as an issue any longer. Indulging in ‘self’ and satisfying fleshly desires is a real problem. Constantly looking at what we have or what we don’t have is an actual issue, and if left untreated, it will take root and destroy the purpose God has for us. Jesus called us to live out our lives selflessly, however, the opposite of that reigns true today. There is so much selfishness manifesting itself, even amongst the believers that people are willing to jump and tread over others, just to get ahead or to be noticed.
This type of mentality and way of life needs to end! Let today be your wakeup call because God has a specific word for you “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men, is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Some of you may be thinking, ‘well that doesn’t apply to me’ and though in the context of materialism it may be true, it also refers to other things you esteem highly that God doesn’t. Perhaps you put your children on display and gloat about how well your child does in school or all the extra-curricular activities your kid is involved in that other parents may not have the luxury of enrolling their children in. Or maybe it’s how lavish your house is in comparison to the people in your network. It could be the pride you take in the people you know or hang out with and the things you do on the weekends which need to be posted on social media for your followers to view-because hey, if it’s not posted then people won’t know how much fun your life really is.
I don’t know about you but having to constantly compare, compete or prove myself to anyone is an exhausting life that I CHOOSE not to live. I like social media just like the next person – but I cannot let the approval and desire for everyone’s ‘likes’ dictate the life God has called me to live. Since social media is big in our generation, take a moment and think about this: if no one ever liked a single picture you put up on social media, will you be okay with it? How would you feel? Your answer will determine the posture of your heart.
If I try to please man, then I definitely won’t be pleasing God. It’s either one or the other, you cannot do both! And when the people you’re trying to please, are no longer impressed (which will happen at some point) you will be back in the cycle of how you can find ways to prove yourself. This vicious cycle needs to stop. At the end of the day, it’s not what man says about you that matters or makes a difference; it’s what God says and what He has planned for your life. So as we step into a new season, let’s enter in with a new mindset and perspective. Don’t wait until 2016 is over to start fresh. Start now- put away mindsets and thinking patterns of wanting to impress and please people; instead, press on towards pleasing God. Ask Him to be the only one who is glorified in your life. “He must become greater in your life, and you must become less”, just as it states in John 3:30.
You don’t need to put on a show for the world to see, just be yourself and enjoy each day God gives you. Remember that the things that matter the most in life are actually not things – instead, extend a hand to someone else who is in need and find ways to bless others the way God has blessed you! Selflessness really goes a long way, especially in building the kingdom of God!