I learned an important lesson recently from a wise friend’s status update. She had commented that her son had spent 30 minutes talking about a game, and though she didn’t understand a word that he had spoken, she was just glad that he wanted to talk to her.
That simple post was a huge “ah ha” moment for me. I love how God uses the seemingly mundane activities in my life as teaching points to usher me into conviction and repentance.
I often encounter the same thing with my own teenage son, but my outcome used to be quite different. I can recall a conversation in which he was talking about a game that he was building while I was prepping dinner. After a few minutes, I zoned out and I wanted to tell him to “land the plane,” but instead, I continued to pretend to listen for several more minutes before turning on the food chopper and drowning him out altogether. Consequently, my son walked away.
I love my son. I do. It’s just that most days I am serving in so many different capacities that I begin moving at the speed of light, and I tend to multi-task and prioritize everything, even conversations.Therefore, I don’t always make the best decisions.
I often get caught up in the “doing,” that I forget the relationship.
My wise friend’s post reminded me of a truth that the Holy Spirit has been working in me for years.
True service means dying to self.
Dying to self does not occur when everything is going as planned, and I “feel” like serving.
Dying to self does not occur when I am in a great mood, have had enough sleep, and it’s after that first cup of coffee.
Dying to self occurs when I don’t feel like serving, when I feel like being selfish, when I feel like being rude.
It occurs when my flesh doesn’t feel like portraying Christ, but through the power of the Spirit I am able. It is in that moment that I recommit my thoughts to Christ, and then, acting as His ambassador, I am able to show love through my service.
Dying to self is not a one-time event at the point of our salvation; it is a life-long process.
Serving others is not always the physical act of doing; sometimes it simply listening, and regardless of the capacity we are serving, it always means being present in the moment; and it always means dying to our own desires, our own wishes, and our own plans.
The next time our children approach us in conversation, whether they are five or fifteen, whether we have the time or not, let’s turn off our flight of ideas; let’s turn off the running water, dry our hands and let’s remove the simmering pot from the burner on the stove, and listen. Be in the moment… and when we catch ourselves acting impatiently and our thoughts begin to drift, let’s die to ourselves and serve our families by showing them the love of Christ.
Word of the Day:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Lord, sometimes I believe that I have it all together, and I can do things on my own. In those moments please remind me that it is the supernatural power of the Spirit that enables me to act on behalf of Christ. And in those moments, when I don’t feel like showing the love of Christ, please remind me that it is then that I need to die to myself, my own desires, and wishes, and follow him, in Jesus’ name, amen.