By Ginger Laury
We are saturated with competition from spectating to performing. We strive for titles, trophies, and perfect attendance records. We cheer on teams to share the victories and suffer the defeats. Sports, pageants, academics, and more have become ways to express who we are and how we define ourselves. Anything can become a competition. If we can make it about winning, we will.
But some things money, or performance, can’t buy. What happens when being good isn’t good enough? What happens when we don’t claim first prize? Sometimes we’re told as long as we gave it our best we’re winners, too. But our insistence on comparing ourselves to someone “better” often leaves us feeling less than. And our winning title only lasts so long before someone else comes along and rips it from our tightly clenched fists. Exhausting.
We can apply performance to many things, but NOT to our true identity and relationship with Christ. He invites us close and desires our adoration and affection; to fully engage in body, mind and spirit, not blindly move through the motions. Our full attention far outweighs our bargains and payoffs. His desire is for us to love above all else.
Being flexible is about bending towards God’s will to know Him more fully and when we do, He inspires change from the inside out. This is an intimate exchange between us and Jesus Christ. No one watching. No comparing. No finish line. And it’s beautifully rich with authenticity. Jesus doesn’t want our burnt offerings of titles, trophies, and perfect attendance records. He desires something far more valuable. He desires us. Jesus already won and we’re on His team. Our title is Child of God and our prize is eternal life. Priceless.
. . . I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual . . . Matthew 12:6-8 (MSG)
I want you to show love not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 (NLT)
1. Have you ever tried to bargain with God? Did you get what you wanted?
2. What is the difference between offering God our love and offering God a sacrifice?
3. Why is it important to know the difference?