Inspirational Thought of the Day:
The calling on each one of us is too great to not have the voice of others encouraging us to stay on target with His message.
Scriptures of the Day:
“Now Jesus went home, and a crowd gathered so that they were not able to eat. 21 When his family heard this they went out to restrain him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 The experts in the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “By the ruler of demons he casts out demons.”
“Examine me, O LORD, and test me! Evaluate my inner thoughts and motives!”
Ever had people question you as to why you do what you do? It might be that they are genuinely interested, or maybe they are also trying to figure you out. Maybe they have an opinion already formed and just want to make sure you know it. LOL. Either way, such people are actually a gift from God.
Stick yourself out there to share the message God has placed on your heart and you will be examined. At first blush, this seems distracting, like an attack. We don’t like our motives questioned or to have people examining us – it feels like judgment. Yet, surprisingly, people coming and questioning our motives is a kindness and an unexpected gift for those who are willing to submit to the process.
In humility, we are never above our motives being inspected and it is a safeguard for those who want to please God. King David, a man after God’s own heart, echoed this sentiment of being willingly examined. He was king, annointed by God, yet we see throughout his life a continual desire to please the LORD and examine his heart. We are never above being inspected and it is a dangerous place to ever think we are.
Jeremiah also recognized his need for his heart to be examined. He saw that our hearts within us are deceitful and beyond cure. This truth underscores our need to have people in our lives who are willing to evaluate our motivation. In this examination by man, though, there are some prevailing truths that help us navigate the landscape of the examination of our motives.
Audience of One.
Ultimately, while we should have people in our lives who hold us accountable, it is before God alone that we are held accountable. The opinions of man are fickle, but God’s standard is clear. Sometimes, though, we need faithful people to speak into the myopic places of our lives.
Having people who care enough to speak into our lives is a treasure. These people are not just “yes men” who flatter us, but they are also not people who are jealous and have motivations of their own to tear us down. We were not meant to live our lives as an island, but to live them in community with people who sometimes sharpen us like iron and other times they are a source of comfort in our weary moments, and we do the same for them.
We are all under the leadership of someone. Whether it is our pastor, a husband, a boss, teachers, parents, etc. The opinion of these people that God has placed in our lives should be considered. This does not mean we check our brain at the door and just take their opinion as truth, but their thoughts should not be taken lightly.
We are not out to win a popularity contest, but if we are speaking, singing or writing on a platform that is public, people will have an opinion and likely share it with us. Some will bless our socks off with affirmation and encouragement. Others might not like us at all and see it as their job to undermine all we are doing. Expect that. The irony here is that those who question our motives might just be guilty of the same thing they accuse us of. That’s ok. We are not their judge, either.
There is such a beauty in hearing the speculation of people and filtering out what God needs us to hear and what He doesn’t. Learning how to filter out feedback is critical in our lives. We cannot know another person’s heart or why they feel compelled to share their perspective with us, but we can examine what they say with a precious tool that God has given to us.
His Word is a priceless gift to us when we are trying to discern if there is anything in us that needs to be purified. The motivations of our heart and ministry can impact our whole lives and the lives of those we are called to reach. Submitting to inspection by others without letting their opinions override what God is speaking into our lives is a gift indeed.
There is a delicate balance between letting people speak into our lives and letting them run our lives. We don’t have to receive criticism, but we can take from it what God calls us to. This is true freedom – being able to hear people’s thoughts, good and bad, and take only what the Holy Spirit confirms in our lives.
The calling on each one of us is too great to not have the voices of others encouraging us to stay on target with His message. In a position of leadership, it is only fitting to be evaluated. Jesus was perfect, yet He had people constantly questioning His motives. He is the incarnate God who came in the flesh, and still the very man He created judged Him – the Judge of all the earth. We are not perfect as He was and the questioning of us is a gift indeed that humbles us and causes us to stop and think. If Jesus endured such opposition and scrutiny, we should expect the same.
Lord, take all of me and use it for Your magnificent glory. Help me to stay in the center of Your will and to cultivate an accountability with Your people that keeps my heart focused on You alone. Thank You for the privilege of being used by You at all to share Your love and Word with Your children.