Selfishness is a Sieve

Water in a SieveTrying to satisfy selfish desires is like trying to fill a sieve with water. God used Lillyann to make that point last week. She was in a huff about the water in the water table being dirty because there were some tiny leaves in it. When we didn’t empty and refill it, she took matters into her own hands. She picked up a shark-shaped sieve and set out to fill the table. Refusing to heed our cries to get a bucket, she left a trail of water on the ground with each trip. She was going to do things her way, and I can relate 🙂

Trying to make selfish people happy is as futile as Lilly’s attempts to fill her water table. It won’t work no matter how hard I try. I’ve spent most of my life trying to fix and satisfy; I’ve gotten the same results and felt the same frustration Lilly did during her little mission. Seeing her carrying that sieve back and forth made me realize I need to let go of my way of loving and go with God’s plan.

Servants in the world’s kingdom spend a lifetime trying to satisfy selfish people. That leaves them and those they’re trying to please miserable. In God’s kingdom, servants love, listen, and let God transform hearts. If I choose the latter, my heart and the hearts of those I love and serve will grow nearer to God. Holiness is a beautiful maturity that simply means I am ripe and ready to be God’s servant. That means letting Christ’s precious love be the model for all the love in my life. It also means saying goodbye to pleasing and appeasing and hello to healthy, holy helping.

Proverbs 19:21 says it best.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” NLT

 

You Can Always Get What You Want!

Mick Jagger assured us in the seventies that we couldn’t always get what we wanted, but we could get what we needed if we tried. The truth is that you can always get what you want, but it comes at a price. Rhonda Bryne tells us in The Secret that we have the power to manifest our heart’s desire. I believe she’s right. The problem is the cost. It doesn’t take an extensive research project to prove that it’s possible to get what you want. Every spoiled child and adult in the world has proven that to us over and over again for free. Getting what we want only leads to misery, and we don’t need a study to prove that either.

God can give us everything we want, but He knows that would make us miserable. He could also force us to do exactly what He wants, but He knows that would make Him miserable. The lessons of late have been about obedience, and they are never easy ones. I want what I want and struggle with God when what I want and what He knows is best for me are not the same thing. All good parents and teachers understand the feeling well.

I laugh each time I think of my nephew Ben telling Tyler that he didn’t have to do what I asked him to do. He was two and running away from my sister Edie as fast as he could. I was at the kitchen table telling Tyler it was time to get ready for bed. Ben stopped running long enough to yell, “You don’t ha to Tider!” Tyler looked surprised, and I did my best to hide the big grin on my face. Ben was right, and I knew it.

The fact that I don’t have to do what God asks me to do is what allows me to grow when I choose to obey. God and I both know that obeying out of love is the only way for me to be who He knows I can be. Without love, I become a drone. Christians who become drones are miserable and make those in their paths miserable too. Misery does, indeed, love company. Love also loves company, but the connection is so much better and lasts forever.

Getting what I want means turning from God and living in the darkness. Darkness is darkness and no amount of money, fame, or fortune can change it into light. Only God can do that. He shed His Light upon the world in a way that changed everything. Understanding His Love and embracing His Truth brings hope, and hope is better than anything I can manifest on my own. Sure, I can write myself make believe checks and make collages of the life I want, but Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand.” (NASB) That lottery money will soon be spent, those possessions will fall prey to rust and dust, and fame will soon fly away. Love lasts forever!

If I go with God’s plan, I will have eternal life with Him, and I can walk in His kingdom now. That doesn’t mean I’ll be prosperous, but it does mean I will have love, joy, and peace. When God’s counsel takes root in my heart, it bears the fruit of His Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 promises, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (NASB) Money, fortune, and fame don’t come close to love. Love cannot be manipulated or manifested. It comes when I understand that there is something much better than what I want.

Lust is about getting what I want, and it is the second most powerful force in this world. The universe will give you just what you want, and there will always be those who pick up the slack for selfish, spoiled folks who insist on their way because they make others miserable when they don’t get it. Love means not getting what I want and not giving others what they want. Lust wins many battles, but the good news is that love has already won the war!

This photo is from "Spoiled Kids Get Worse Grades in College" by Laura Hamilton.
This photo is from “Spoiled Kids Get Worse Grades in College” by Laura Hamilton.

I’m not surprised 🙂