Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I want to want...

I want to want only what You want and only for the reason You want me to want it.

13 Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. 1 What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires. James 3:13-4:3

1 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. 3 Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4

After speaking with a pastor I met recently, one who has been teaching and shepherding for 50+ years, he asked me to consider this question about myself: "Why are you so impatient with imperfection?" He also asked me something to the effect of "What is it that you are striving for?" Both of those questions have been haunting me for nearly a week now.

I don't know that I fully understand the answer to either of those questions yet, but I have come to realize that distinguishing between that which is objectively wrong and that which is subjectively "sub-optimal" is a lot more difficult that I ever imagined, and far too often I place entirely too much in the first category when it belongs in the second, or even in a third category of "different, yet equally as good". And the ugly truth of the matter is that I have placed some of what I have in the first category because of an attitude of rivalry and conceit, of "you shouldn't do it that way because I can do it better."

In recognizing that God has given me gifts that He wants to use for His glory, I must also realize that when, where, and how they are used are up to Him as well, and even whether or not they are used at all.

God, give me a heart of true gentleness, wisdom, and humility. Teach me to truly submit to Your will whenever it may be, wherever it may lead, and however it may look.