Yesterday, we challenged you to live a life that gives value to others instead of taking value away. The truth is, many of us struggle to give value to others because we don’t feel that we are valuable. Since we don’t feel valuable, we don’t feel that we can give any value away. That is a mindset that Jesus does not believe or ever teach about you. You do have great value!
One of the great secrets of “feeling” valuable isn’t at all what most people think. Instead of our value being like a bank that must take deposits from others before it has anything to give away, your value increases in your own mind when you are regularly building up others. I’ve noticed that people who are surrounded by genuine friendships are usually very giving themselves without any expectation of receiving. However, because they are giving, they receive so much more from others and from the Holy Spirit who is living and working inside of every disciple. I have learned that much of my happiness and contentment comes from giving the Holy Spirit control in my life to do just that…give to others. It is one way that we honor Jesus and let Him continue his work of re-creation within us.
Unfortunately, many of us are not experiencing this incredible work within us because we have chosen to take control over ourselves instead of giving it to God. We fear that truly bowing our will, goals, and priorities to Him will somehow leave us lacking. It is a terrible myth that leads us to grieve God as we eventually begin to plummet out of control. Paul talks about the natural consequence of trying to control our own lives here…
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 4:30–5:2 (NIV)
We truly hurt others and ourselves when we choose our way instead of the way of Jesus. But it doesn’t have to be that way! By earnestly seeking Him and letting the Holy Spirit control your life, you receive more than you ever did by holding your own reigns with tight fists.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
It is not an easy thing to admit the areas where we are out of control. We work so hard to look like we have everything together while we fear that we are falling apart. Take some time, today, to pray that God would show you what areas of your life that you need to give to Him and then do it! Follow His instructions in His Word. Move when He tells you to move and give value whenever you have a chance. Demonstrate the beauty of knowing and following Jesus by letting Him work miraculously in and through you.
Truth: A life out of control grieves God.
Question: What areas of my life to I need to give over to God?