It’s Not About Me?!

I’m in a Bible study led by Dr. Juli Slattery, a psychologist at Focus on the Family (and one of the coolest people I’ve ever met). Last week’s study prompted me to ask, “Who do I live my life for? Who do I go to school for? Work for? Build relationships for? Get up each morning for?” I’d like to be able to say that I intentionally life my life for the Lord, but most of the time that’s not true; it’s all for me.

1 Corinthians 3:9-15 says that Christ is the foundation of my life and everything I do builds upon it. “The fire will test the quality of each man’s work” (v. 13). Anything I build that is of me or for me will be burned up at the end of this life. Only the things I build for Christ will last. In Dr. Slattery’s book, “Beyond the Masquerade,” she says that work is the outgrowth and reflection of our hearts. What is my heart rooted in? A desire to build success for myself or a desire to serve the Lord?
Too often I have a bad attitude about work and watch the clock until I get to go home. Because my motivation for work is all about me, if I’m stuck doing something that I don’t enjoy or won’t benefit me in some way, I do it half-heartedly. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” When I work with this attitude no job is too small, too menial, too boring, or too unimportant. The days I go into work with a poor attitude I’m working for myself and for what I can get out of the job. According to the 1 Corinthians passage, the work I do in this mindset will be burned up; it won’t count for anything in eternity. It’s only when I give my work to God and say, “Lord, I’m not here for me, I’m here for You. You’ve placed me in this job for Your glory and I’m going to do my best today to honor You,” that my work will stand through the test of fire.
It’s not only the work I do in my job that will be tested, everything I do will be put through the fire. My homework, housework, relationships, etc. Everything we do has eternal consequences: doing the dishes, taking out the trash, listening to a friend who is going through a hard time, making dinner, putting your kids to bed, walking the dog – each of these is an opportunity to serve the Lord. I have a choice to take out the trash with a bad attitude, grumbling the whole time about how it’s supposed to be my brother’s turn to take the trash out, or I can do it as an act of service to both my brother and the Lord.
When I choose to do my work, whatever it may be, for God’s glory, I will likely find myself enjoying it more. Cleaning the toilet won’t feel demeaning, making photo copies won’t seem mundane, and running errands won’t be a waste of time. When my perspective shifts from me-focused to God-focused I’ll be able to see every task as an opportunity to bring glory to my Creator and build things that stand the test of fire.

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2 thoughts on “It’s Not About Me?!

  1. Mom says:

    Whitney-girl……you never cease to amaze me. You have blessed me completely today. I will definately go to work with a new attitude on Monday. Loving You!

  2. Uncle Gary says:

    Whitney, Very good thoughts and scriptures on work and whatever we do in our lives choosing to do it for our Lord. I know I missed a blessing coming home on Thanksgiving eve from one of my northern California clients when I stopped for gas and someone in the next pump ask for help with gas and while I gave him some gas after I left I ask myself what kind of an ‘attitude’ did I give while doing it and I realized it really wasn’t very ‘Lord of my life’ affirming to the people! So I had to ‘mark’ that one up as one of those ‘opportunities missed’ in sharing how God has truely blessed my life! Especially on Thanksgiving eve!

    Talked with Aunt Roberta yesterday, and she said she was going to a Thanksgiving dinner with Leonards and their family and that you were going to be there. Hope you had a great time. Love ya, Uncle Gary

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