Friday, February 13, 2009
Who are you... REALLY? Why?
QUESTION: Why do you do what you do?
This past week a nagging question has been going through my mind, who am I... really? What makes me tick? Why do I do and say the things that I do? Do I ever think about what impact I'm having on others... should I care? By living the way that I am, what story am I giving to those around me? Am I giving a story at all? It is almost a search for what my identity really is... and why. (And is that what it is supposed to be?)
This has been a constant question in my life, but became a lot more real to me this past week. I've been really struggling with self worth - and the realization of God definitely not needing me, but wanting me, wanting to hold my heart, wanting to guide me through a story that HE wrote for me before I was born.
As this has been on my mind, I've been reading through the New Testament, looking at the stories of those Jesus had a personal impact on. The story of Martha and Mary really hit me. At a first glance, I didn't really understand the rebuke Jesus gave Martha. I mean, in all honesty, had I been her, I would have done the same thing. "Hey ... seriously... are you going to just let my sister sit on her butt, while I'm trying to prepare food for you people?" Interesting how she did not in fact go to Mary to rebuke her, she went straight to Jesus - "Lord, do you not care that I'm doing this on my own, when the responsibility should not be mine alone?"
I'm a doer... I like to do things. Constantly. I feel that may be Martha's way as well. It is how she serves... she does things. She did not have the time to sit down and listen with all those people (Notice the words in Luke 10:39 - Mary sat at the feet of Jesus) I read this and my first instinct is that Martha has a right to be stressed - she's there doing all the work alone... how frustrating. God rebuked her.
This verse has been on my mind constantly throughout the week. I'm grateful to have a job, but this is not exactly where I feel like I should be. Where should I be? What should I be doing? As I said, I'm a doer, I like to constantly be busy - it is how I serve. I like to meet with lots of people, pray with lots of people (which if you know me is a big improvement - prayer has always been a scary thing for me ... trust me, I'm sure it will turn into a post some day :) ), I like to speak to large groups, do important things... but I have these nagging questions - WHY? WHY do I do these things? WHAT am I trying to portray to others? AM I trying to portray? If so, WHY am I trying to portray it?
Martha wanted to serve, wanted to provide for the people. But I have to wonder... was it really more important than sitting at the Lord's feet, grasping, yearning to know who HE is? How much of her serving was just worrying about what people thought, how much there would be... where was her heart? Jesus knew hearts, and he rebuked her "Martha... Martha... you are worried about many things, but there is only one thing that is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken from her."
To figure this out, all week, I've been asking this question, trying to discern my motives. Where is my heart in talking to this middle schooler? Where is my heart in talking to this random person I met at the grocery store? What am I trying to accomplish throughout the day, in this conversation, in this action, in this job?
There is nothing wrong with being busy -- but so, SO often, I tend to lose sight of God. I'm too busy to sit at His feet and yearn after who He is. Sure, I can serve doing all these things -- but I need to be honest with myself, many times what I do hinges on the reaction I'll get, or what other people think.
YES, as a follower of Christ, I am there to be an ambassador, working for His kingdom, making an impact on those around me. Spreading His love and word. But when I do these things -- is that TRULY my motive?
If I sat at the Lord's feet, and let HIM direct my steps - I will be busy. We all have different gifts that He will use - one is definitely my energy. But so often, I use it for my gain, not anothers. What can I accomplish through this? What will people think of me.
Shouldn't I be dying to myself (ROMANS!!), and living for Christ? Suffering for HIS kingdom - not my own? If He's my God - do I let Him be sovereign in my life - COMPLETELY surrendering to His reign?
One of my cousins (one of the coolest guys EVER) walked up to the podium church one Sunday, and shared with the entire congregation that he had a confession. He felt like he needed to repent of a selfish, self-seeking heart. He is one of the most profound, God-fearing men I know, who every time speaks in church makes an impact in hearts. Yet, he was confessing that when he did speak, so many times he spoke to "sound godly" to show that he had the answers. It was so humbling. If you are reading this cuzzy -- THANK YOU. THANK YOU for your humbleness and committment to keeping it real FOR CHRIST. You thought about who he was speaking for -- and he was humble enough to admit that it was for your own glory. GOD USED THAT. You put your own reputation down - to give glory to God's amazing grace, to His leading - wanting to live for Him, and only Him. What he said was not bad, and impacted many in a good way -- but you knew where your heart was.
So why do you do what you do? I'd love to challenge you to think about things throughout the week. Even simple things like what you are going to wear, who you spend your time with. What makes you, you?
Again, I don't want to say that God does not want you to be doing what you're doing. I will always be a busy person. But I honestly feel as though sometimes we should be sitting at the Lord's feet, praying a prayer much like David's in Psalm 139.
"Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
So who are you? What really makes you tick? Why? What story are you trying to tell with your life - through that, what are you really portraying in your heart?