Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Check your motives

A little over a week ago we had a huge snow storm. I think we might have gotten 6 inches, whatever the amount, there was a lot! With my husband being broken I was the one that had to shovel us out. I called in to work during the worst of it and I didn't think I would have to leave the house until my wonderful husband told me we were out of diapers (two toddlers, no diapers...yeah not a good situation)

So anyway I went out to shovel the sidewalk so I didn't fall on my face and I shoveled the car out of the little hole the snow had made. While I was shoveling, I felt God put on my heart to shovel the neighbors sidewalk too. We've had tons of problems with this neighbor, she's rude and mean and has threatened bodily harm to my husband on several occasions...I don't like when people don't like me so I'm always trying to make nice with this woman.

I wasn't that cold so I decided to obey God (smiles) and shovel this woman's sidewalk. My imagination ran away with me and I had her running over to our house so greatful, so happy that I shoveled her out. I would sit her down with some tea (I don't drink tea..) talk about my Jesus and how much He loves her and we'd turn out to be besties forever. Her daughter would play with my daughter and everything would be hunky dory...(laughs) that's not exactly what happened...I have a wild imagination.

The fact is nothing happened, except that God used shoveling her sidewalk as a time of learning for me. (don't you just love when that happens) You see I was looking for a pat on the back from this neighbor, when I should have been looking to God for approval. Did I do the very best shoveling job I could do for God?

How often do we do something for our spouse and get huffy because they don't notice or say thankyou? We do things for the glory of God not the glory of ourselves.

How often do we take food to a neighbor and hope beyond all hope that they like it and we rest our existence on whether they say thank you and jump for joy or not...we take food for the glory of God, not the glory of ourselves...

How often do we work extra hard at our job so our boss will notice and give us that raise we pray so hard for...we work for God, we do not work for ourselves or for man.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Colossians 3:23

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:16

I know next time I do something for my husband, boss or a neighbor I will check my motives and make sure I'm serving God, not myself. 


Jenifer said...

Oh great post! You gave me something to think about! I want to obey God just because I love Him and desire to obey Him. Not because I will be rewarded or get a pat on the back. Thank you for this post!

Kelli said...

I love this! It is funny how the greatest lessons God teaches us are usually when we are doing for others. Even though your neighbor may never notice you did that, God notices. God sees how you love Him. I learned the greatest blessings are when you do things un-noticed by others, but noticed by God. That way when we do things, we arent tempted to seek self-glorification but God alone receives the glory. I often over look my neighborhood, but it truley is our local mission field. Great post! Happy Tuesday!

Lisa said...

Great post, Mandy! If we are really doing things for God, then it shouldn't matter if people don't notice. We should crave God, not the praise of men. Thanks for reminding me of this truth.

Alida said...

I wouldn't say that nothing happened from you shoveling for your neighbor... you learned a lesson and shared it with us. Thank you!!!

Phather Phil Malmstrom said...

Wonderful point Mandy. We all fall into the position of doing good and beneficial things for others, but all the while seeking some recognition from sources other than Him. If we're truly exercising His Love through us, we should be content knowing we've done His Will. Thanks for the excellent reminder!

Allison said...

Thanks for the reminder! If we aren't doing something with the right 'heart' motive, we may as well not bother!

Heidi said...

It's an amazing thing when we begin to give up the significance that we think we need from man to consume the significance we are in Him. A lot of pressure goes out the window when we don't need people to make us feel good. Thank you Mandy, great post!