It’s not hard to find someone who is for the Georgia Bulldogs. Or for the Clemson Tigers. Americans are for America. We relish our identity as Americans when we celebrate our independence each July 4th. As husbands, we’re for our wives and our kids. When you’re for something, you identify with it, you advocate for it and you even set your priorities around it.
Merriam-Webster says ‘for’ is “used to indicate the person or thing that something is sent or given to.” But what are we ‘given to’ in our daily lives? What (or who) do we think about? Identify with? Advocate for? Set priorities around? Could it be one (or more) of the following . . .
- Our work and career?
- Our golf game?
- Our favorite college team?
- Our vacations and time off?
- Our home and/or lawn?
- Our church?
- Our wives?
- Our kids?
- Our parents?
- Our retirement?
- Our kids’ sports?
- Our finances?
- Our health and fitness?
- Our friends?
- Our problems?
God is about motives. He’s about the why far more than about the what, when or where. Through all of history, God has been about relationship. That’s the why. He created us to be in a personal relationship with Him. We’re called “Christians” because of that relationship, but somehow we still don’t have much time for Him.When we think about the time and attention we give God every day compared to the time and attention we devote to the things on the above list, it’s almost comical. When it comes to the Creator God who invited us to call him Father, the omnipotent Almighty God of the universe who wants to be our best friend, who controls everything . . . well, He gets a few minutes each day before we hit the gym (if we don’t forget). Except for maybe ‘our problems,’ there’s not a single bad thing on that list . . . they’re all good and some of them are even necessary. So, what gives? What does God want from us?
And lest you think I’m throwing rocks, I live in a glass house. As much as I love God and try to follow Him, I’d hate to see a pie chart of my daily thoughts. God would be there but I’d be ashamed of how little I actually think of Him or talk to Him. But oh . . . when I’m under pressure or in a crisis, His piece of my time, attention, energy and mindshare gets really big!
We live for the Lord when we’re constantly praising and thanking Him. When we’re looking for opportunities to serve others. And when we slow down enough to read His Book, listen to His voice and live as He wants us to live, we feel His peace and His presence in our lives. That’s what He wants for us.
Scriptures: If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:8 – emphasis mine)
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12 –emphasis mine)
Mentor Tip: Leadership is caught more than taught. As you mentor guys, be aware they’re watching your level of contentment. Are you modeling faith in God or driving ambition? Even Kingdom ambition can kill contentment. Notice that Paul says he learned how to be content. Maybe from Barnabas or other mentors or just from experience. It’s not natural, it’s learned. Learn it and model it for your guys.
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