Whether you’re a man or a woman, wealthy or scraping by, a minister or lay person, chances are you struggle with one sneaky vice. You look out for Number One. Maybe a little too much.
I say sneaky, because we don’t like to think of ourselves as selfish, particularly if we’re known to be generous with our money or even our time. But as followers of Christ, as those who have voluntarily signed up to be “slaves to righteousness” (Rom. 6:18), as those who admit that their lives are “not their own” (1 Cor. 6:19-20), we need to come face to face with our tendency to feed the Me Monster.
You know how marriage, it is said, is like holding up a mirror to yourself? You’re unaware of all your flaws until your new spouse is kind enough to point them out?
Well, there is something else out there like marriage. It’s called adoption. As soon as our minds drift to the possibility of our family adopting a child, a lot of gunk enters there—gunk that proves that we’re looking out for ourselves first.
The problem is, there’s a lot of good common sense that helps justify how we’re thinking, like, “I need to think about my family first,” and “We need to be careful not to live above our means,” and “If I decide we’ll adopt, how will I put the other children through college?”
Gallant. Even responsible. But no matter how much “sense” our rationalization makes, it’s all done in vain if we don’t ask ourselves one simple question:
“What does GOD want in my life and in the life of my family?”
If we lived purely by our common sense and how we THINK God wants us to live, then Abraham never would’ve taken Isaac up that mountain with a knife in his hand. Abraham knew murder was a sin. And surely God wouldn’t ask him to do that.
I’m not asking that we circumvent Scripture until we hear some audible voice from the clouds. I’m suggesting we—particularly we men—understand Scripture in its totality, in its context.
We can quote 1 Timothy 5:8—“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”—to prove that, as the head of the house, I have this grave responsibility. But if we read that passage in context, Paul is saying we have a responsibility to care for the needs of our parents and grandparents, especially if they’re widows! And we all know how God feels about widows and orphans.
How do we do that if don’t have the money to do it? Well, to God, that doesn’t matter! It’s a command regardless. It’s as if He expects us to TRUST Him with how He’s going to provide.
You see, we are not ever to question the “how.” But we are ALWAYS to consider the “Who.”
Our Christian life started with God and will end with God, but we tend to forget that all the time in between, we must rely on God. The key is to WANT TO know what God is telling us, to hear what He’s saying, then to be obedient and to follow through with it, no matter what the cost is to “me.”