So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
In a wonderful devotional classic, God Calling, the two anonymous authors write on March 16 of the Christian’s calling to reflect God to the world and to make God real in the world. Think of those phrases for a moment. Reflect God, and make God real in the world. Another way of saying, as Paul does do everything to the glory of God…not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved. Do I reflect God to the world in all that I do? Do I make God real in all that I do? Do I work that others may come to the saving knowledge of Christ or do I spend most of my time seeking my own advantage?
If I take the time to ask these questions, if I take the time to examine my life, I may not be pleased with the answers. The truth is most of my time is spent in seeking my own advantage. If I look at my checkbook or budget, I am confronted with the same questions. What do my spending patterns reflect? What do they make real? To whose advantage am I working? The answer is almost always the same, my family and me.
One of the benefits of a stewardship campaign is that it helps us re-prioritize our lives according to God’s plan and not simply according to our own wants and desires. A young family had been saving for years to remodel their home and make it exactly what they had always wanted. As part of a stewardship campaign they began praying about what God wanted and not what they wanted. They looked at the project, they looked at their church, and they prayed with an open heart. They wanted to reflect to the world the love and grace of God. They wanted to make God’s love real to their community. They intentionally decided to put their remodeling money to work for the advantage of others and not themselves. The process was not easy, the answers were not always clear, but as they told their story, their faces radiated joy and peace. Their house had not been remodeled, but their hearts and lives had been.
Questions to consider
1. What does my life reflect?
2. Am I willing to honestly and openly seek God’s will for my life — even my finances?
3. How can I reprioritize my life in order to better reflect God and His love?
Dear God, I confess that I do not always reflect You and Your love. I confess that much of my time is spent in seeking my own advantage. Give me the courage, Oh God, to seek Your will for my heart, my life and even my finances. In all that I do and say, help me to reflect You and Your love. I pray through Christ my Lord, Amen.