Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Misplaced Admiration

There is no denying that the Christian perspective is different. To have the mind of Christ and be controlled by the Spirit results in us seeing things differently from how we once saw them. At one time we placed value on people according to what they could do for us. It's a harsh reality but true. Maybe we didn't even realize it but we would always spend time with the people from whom we got the most. As Christians we spend time with the people to whom we give the most. Jesus has turned us from takers into givers; from haters into lovers.

The people for whom we have the most admiration are no longer those who contribute the most to our lives but those in who we see Jesus. We admire the givers, the lovers; they become our heroes even though they may not impact us directly:

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints. (Colossians 1:3-4)

This world will dull our spiritual senses if we allow it to, turning us back into the self-centered thinking we were raised in. But we are inspired when we see those who live like Jesus, always giving, never taking, but always open to receiving. We look and wish we could be like them, not always realizing we were designed to be this way. All of us were saved and given the opportunity to gain the character of Jesus.

It isn't that we wake up one day and decide that we are going to be like Jesus. It is a surrendering and a rejecting of what we know does not belong to that character. We give permission to the Spirit to control and teach us. It is a submission to the will of God, the character of Jesus. We can't change anything about ourselves but the Spirit can and does.

We know that our relationship is right with Jesus when we see our priorities and perspective changing. When we see people becoming more important to us and when we start spending time with people who we can contribute to instead of those from whom we can take, we know that Jesus is the major influence in our lives. That is the important thing to allow to happen; everything else has to become less and Jesus has to become more.

There are many things in this world that will look for your adoration and precious little deserves to have it. Sometimes we can think that it is well with our soul when actually darkness has crept in. Look to those things you admire, the things that make you laugh, the things that occupy your heart, mind and time, and much will be revealed to you concerning your relationship with Jesus. Surrender control of your heart and mind to the Spirit and things will change:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8) 

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