Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ouuuuch That Hurts!

I don’t know about you but I do things that I know will not have a good outcome. For example I have a tendency to look up when I hit a golf ball, hoping to see the most miraculous shot of all times. In over 50 years of playing golf I have never, ever looked up and hit a good shot. I also know that if I surrender to my desire to have a triple chocolate cookie I will not stop with one. The next morning my scale says, “What were you thinking?” So it is when I read the writings of Paul Tripp, invariably I come away feeling as useless as half a hoola hoop.

In his book, A Quest for More, Paul writes, “It’s not just that we all tend to build our own little claustrophobic kingdoms, but that we want the people who are around us to keep the rules of our kingdoms as well…And the little kingdom (of self) definitely does not ask, ‘Have I loved God above all else and my neighbor as myself?’ No, the little kingdom only asks one question: ‘Am I satisfied with myself and my life?’ If I am satisfied with me, then all is well in the kingdom of one.” Then Paul asks, “Whom are you seeking to satisfy?” Ouuuch!

I hate this self examination stuff. It only hurts because it is accurate. I tend to hold people accountable for their actions but I on the other hand would prefer to be held accountable for my intentions.

We usually want our husband/wife to adhere to the rules of our kingdom. It is not that our rules are necessarily fair or unfair, right or wrong. But when our husbands/wives don’t play by our rules we can be disappointed and/or get surly. Oh but we have our ways of assessing a penalty. We may invoke the silent treatment or better yet withdraw. We may choose to nag or withhold intimacy. Or you may go for the big one – invite our mother to come and visit for three weeks.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:2-4) By putting the kingdom of God first we choose to humble ourselves and put our husband/wife’s desires ahead of our own desires. We are no longer consumed by getting our needs met but more aware of how we can meet the needs of those God brings into our path.

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