STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional
SERIES 3: Pried Out With A Cross
The Pride of Entitlement
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21
It is only a matter of time before your will collides with another’s. In fact, many times we have no idea what we want or how much we want something until we meet another person who either wants the same thing at the same time or wants a different thing that makes it impossible for us to have what we want. It is then that everything within us screams, “I want it! I want it now! I want it all! I want it for myself!”
The desire to have what you want can grow strong enough to be mistaken for ownership. The thing you want is not yours, but it sure feels like it is, whether it is an employment you seek, a relationship you desire, a meal you hunger for, a cold drink you thirst for, a cure you are waiting in line for, or a prize you are competing for. Wanting the thing often feels like owning it, hence the great sense of loss, deprivation, and disappointment when you do not get it. Look at the face of a player on the losing team and you’d think that the thing that has eluded his grasp had been his to begin with. To desire something that is good or pleasant is harmless enough. But one teaspoon of pride in the cup of that desire is more than enough to turn this desire into a sense that we are entitled to it, when nothing could be further from the truth.
The grand vision which God opens our eyes to through Jesus is that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. We own nothing as such. We may desire many things, but our names are not inscribed on them. We may have much in our custody, but we are tenants only. The title deeds do not bear our names. When my will collides with another’s, what is tested is not my generosity, but whether I truly regard Christ as the one who owns me, owns the things I desire, owns the desire itself, and owns those whose desire collides with mine. Jesus does not help us to let go. He shows us that nothing is yet ours to let go of. He shows us that humbly submitting to others is not a virtue or a favor on our part, but our recognition of the veracity of his claim over all things. Thus when we let others have what we want, when we let others enjoy God’s things, we are neither deprived nor impoverished. In this kingdom of which Jesus has made us citizens, the rich are not those who have God’s possessions, but those who are.
Keep the Faith