I’ve always struggled with this, and I’m sure many of my friends or fellow brothers & sisters in Christ go through a similar challenge if they are in a competitive first world country. I “allow” my life to be swayed by lies and end up being discontent. More often than not we forgot that we have already obtained the best prized possesion through salvation (Eph 2:8-9). Yet this most important metric we should often reflect becomes something we take for granted.
Too much noise. Distractions. We automatically get fed by so many worldviews through the things we read, browse, hear and observe. How much have you accomplished? How are your peers doing? Are you staying up to trend, ahead or a laggard? Are you being appreciated for the work that you do, the contributions that you make? Where will you be in 3 years? Have you “got things sorted out”? Are you closer to your aspirations? Do you enjoy your vocation or are you staying there for survival? Do you have joy daily?
But despite all that, what did the Bible say? The complete radical opposite.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Rom 12:2
And I feel like I’m back again at square one. Back to my habitual sins. Evaluating myself as the world would, instead of living and working for the audience of One (Col 3:23). Instead of pursuing and living my life to sow heavenly rewards. In simpler and harsh terms: to please myself instead of my Lord. I pray so very often to be unlike Israel, disobedient, forgetful, self-absorbed, ungrateful, silly and unwise. But here I am again failing through this process of sanctification.
Nonetheless, I thank God for these moments: a time whereby I have no other choice but to sit still and reflect and witness how His Spirit and Word works (2 Cor 12:9).
Meditate. Slow down. Read. Pray. And re-focus my priorities. And remember this: that I have already gotten the most important thing in this life that matters, and the world’s standards shouldn’t be the race that I am competing for (1 Cor 9:25). That all these discontent is due to my underlying ingratitude and ignorance. The reason for this unhappiness is truly because I THINK I deserve something better. But that is a lie (Proverbs 11:2). Because I don’t deserve them. My over inflated ideals should get a wake up call, and remember that I have gotten grace. Grace is something we receive although we don’t deserve it (Eph 2:8-9).
Humans are humans and God is God (Exo 3:14). Ultimately when we idolize others or ourselves unknowingly, we’ll just end up being so dissatisfied. When we seek joy from the wrong places, recognition from the wrong audience, comfort from the wrong source. That’s when things crumble. So Lord please hear my prayer, to help me to only need and want you to be satisfied. Since I was created by You and for You (Gen 1:27; Col 1:16) please accept my plead to only desire You (Ps 25:5, Matt 22:37) and remember what You have done (John 3:16). And have joy (Rom 15:13). In order to work and not ask “what’s in it for me”, but to serve as a steward and see, “what can I do for others?” as stated in Phil 2:3-4.
After all, how am I to learn all of these if I do not learn to be humble? The pre-requisite of being instructed and acquiring God’s promises is a teachable heart… that was why it was written before the reassurance in Psalms 25. Because we have a part to act out our faith (James 2:17).
“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.” – Ps 25:9-10.