What if you discovered today that you have been secretly filmed for the last 6 months? There is a new reality show coming out (as if we need another one) called “Real Christians,” and the producers have followed you around to see how you live. What would they discover about you? About your life? About your free-time? About your service and devotion to God? Would you be ashamed to appear on national television as a representative “Christian”?
There are so many time-consuming, attention-grabbing events and things and people in this world. You have so many options, so many contenders for your devotion. But, God wants and deserves all of your time, your complete and undivided attention, and life-changing devotion.
The easiest way to determine whether or not your devotion is given to God or someone or something else is to make lists. Start listing all of the things you have done for God in the past week, the past month, the past 6 months. Then, on a separate sheet of paper, start listing all of the things you have done for yourself in the past week, month, 6 months. Then, on a third sheet of paper list all of the things you have done for someone else (because they wanted you to, not because God wanted you to). Which sheet has the longest list? Which sheet represents the largest portion of your time? Which sheet records the majority of your thoughts, energy, money, etc.?
Now, here is the truly difficult part of Christianity: God’s list should be the only list. Oh, there are things you will do for yourself and for others, but a Christian must do them because they want to serve God by doing them. For example, Christians need to take time for personal, private, individual devotion. This is something you do for yourself, to make you a better person, but your ultimate motivation should be to be a better servant of God by building a closer relationship with your Father. Another example: Christians must constantly serve others, submit to others, help others; but, again, the primary motivation should be serving God by serving others, not just simply doing for others because they want or demand it. As Jesus put it, letting “your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16]
Start asking yourself, if you don’t already, a very important question: Why? Why am I taking this vacation? Because I want to, or because I want to be energized and refreshed, ready to serve my God? Why do I have this job? Because it is good money, or because it is good money that can be used to help those in need? Why do I need this thing or that possession? Because I think it will make me happy, or because I can glorify God with it?
What have you done for the Lord lately? Your answer should be, “Everything.”