Yesterday the message was – do something. Far too many of us spend our life waiting to find God’s will “for our life” and in the mean time we do nothing. We like to talk about our desire to a part of God’s kingdom but we are never actually a part of furthering God’s kingdom on earth.
But there is also an equal but opposite reaction that is just as harmful – doing everything. While I am like an insurance company (my default answer is no, I have to be convinced to say yes), others are like credit cards (say yes to anything and worry about paying for it later). No matter who asks or what they are asking there are only two responses – say yes or say nothing and feel guilty for not saying yes.
While on the surface these two reactions seem vastly different, I believe they both arise from the same sin – pride.
- The first, I will do God’s will when he gets around to telling me it, is often formed from a mindset that God’s plan for me is so super-special, so over-the-top awesome that doing anything else is a waste of my time and talents. I have given it the name “Seminary Syndrome” because most seminary students I talk with envision being the next mega-pastor. In fact, I cannot recall one conversation with a seminary student who felt God calling them to be a “regular” pastor (sorry if I have forgotten you). My advice is never give-up on a dream God has placed in your heart, but while you wait for it to come true go serve in a church, even if it is not the church of your dreams.
- The second, I am here to save the day, is driven by a mindset that without me nothing would ever get done. Often called a “Messiah Complex”, it is the desire to solve all the worlds problems, even if you have to do by yourself. Most would say it is not that I want to do it by myself, it is just that no one else is doing anything about it, but the truth is – it is not that no one else is doing it, they just are not doing it the way you think it should be done! My advice is never lose the desire to make the world a better place, but focus on people not situations. Use all that energy to invest in someone rather than solving something.
My sermonizing is over and now it is time for me to work on taking my own advice. If you need more here are two blog posts worth reading:
Drew Hart – The Will of God
Kurt Willems – The “will of God” is an excuse to not follow Jesus?