Monday, November 7

I Can't Believe it's Not Godly!

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. --1st Corinthians 13:2

The recipe called for margarine, or "spread" as my grandpa disdainfully calls it. Although my husband and I primarily use Canola Harvest margarine at home (sorry grandpa!) I couldn't bring myself to use butter substitute in the raspberry bars that I was making to distribute to my extended family this weekend at our annual cookie exchange. This morning I brought a few of my surplus treats to work, and someone commented that I must have used real butter because of how good they tasted.

As Christians we need to constantly remind ourselves that anything good we do is because of the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Our natural tendency (thanks to our first father, Adam) is to be self-serving. Even in the midst of what may appear to be a godly action, our motives may be horribly off-center. I have found that there are times when I very much enjoy being the center of attention. My ego all too often prevents me from acting in a manner that is consistent with being a humble servant of Christ.

I know that I am not alone in my misguided and sinful behavior. I'm sure we can all think of examples of people who serve in our churches in virtually every capacity imaginable--they help with Sunday school, Bible studies, prayer chain, choir, and even organize church events. All of these things are wonderful and truly necessary aspects of a thriving church; however, if they are done by someone who is looking to be cast in a self-glorifying light, they might as well have not been done at all. If the underlying goal is to call attention to oneself, then God is being robbed of His glory in each of those activities.

When we serve others selflessly, we are demonstrating a Christ-like attitude. No matter how many good things we may think we are doing, it's all just a low-impact, bland substitute for the real thing. Without love and humility, our seemingly godly behavior will be little more than a batch of cookies made without real butter. It might look good, it might be appealing to some, but to those who know what it is really supposed to taste like, there can be no substitutes for acting out of genuine, Christ-like love.

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