Every now and then–to be honest, more like every day–I need a reminder that life isn’t about me. It’s not about making me happy. It’s not about doing what I want to do.
That’s not to say that God does not give me plenty of opportunities for happiness, nor does He never let me do what I want to do. But the purpose of my existence is not to squeeze the most happiness and “me-ness” I can get out of life. My purpose is to glorify God.
How soon I forget that. It’s all too easy to have a knee-jerk response to everything, to respond to trials or temptations in selfish ways. Yes, it’s natural. But I am not a slave to my old natural self. I can choose to respond in a way that glorifies God rather than myself.
When I’ve been hurt by someone, what response glorifies God more–holding a grudge, or extending grace and forgiveness? When I get handed an unexpected (and unwelcomed) work assignment, which is the greater glorifying response–whining and complaining about it, or accepting it and doing my best? When I do something nice for someone and they fail to thank me, is my reaction one of resentment over their seeming ingratitude, or do I thank God for the opportunity to serve them and not expect anything in return from them?
It’s hard to witness to an unholy world when I too am acting in an unholy manner. Being holy means being different, set apart–and yes, sometimes labeled a weirdo by the world for not reacting to circumstances the way that most people would. More and more, I am trying to respond to hurts, trials and other negative circumstances in ways that bring glory to God, remembering that He does not allow anything–bad or good–into my life without a specific purpose that will bring me ultimate good and Him ultimate glory. It’s certainly not always easy to keep that in mind, as my selfish nature often rears its ugly head and tempts me to live for me. But I am thankful that I am being transformed day by day into Christlikeness, for the glory of God.