What Will it Profit?

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Recently I worked as a nanny, caring for three children ages seven, five and three. It was a challenging job and I learned a lot.

I learned that you shouldn’t hand a three-year-old a bottle of food coloring, that making dinner with a five-year-old’s help can be quite a challenge and that I tire out far quicker than a seven-year-old. I also learned that no one can replace mom in a child’s life.

In our culture, independence, success, and achievement have been idolized while family has been sacrificed. Parents work long hours and children everywhere feel their absence acutely.

God instituted family. It is valuable to Him. In many ways, family reveals the nature of our God. Marriage is a picture of Christ and His church. Parenthood shows us a glimpse of God’s Father heart.

Godly families functioning as they ought to function bring glory to God and demonstrate His nature to this world. Is it any wonder then that the enemy would attack family?

The attack on family is covert. The enemy does not often tempt Christian parents to abuse their children. Instead, he tempts them toward distraction and busyness.

If Christian parents are chasing careers and success they will become too busy to love their families well. When parents are too distracted to invest in their children we no longer see a picture of God’s love and care for us.

Our world does not need more men passionate about their careers. We don’t need more women devoted to their professions. We need more fathers and mothers who are devoted to God first and their families second. We need more Fathers who, though they are exhausted when they get home from work, choose to wrestle and play with their children. We need more mothers who have time to listen to their children’s greatest fears, and dreams and longings.

Success and achievement in this world will not matter in light of eternity. Wealth will fade away. But the souls of our children are eternal.

Matthew 16:26 says, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

I would add to this question. What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses the souls of his children?

3 John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.“

Truly this is a great joy and one that every Christian parent ought to be seeking wholeheartedly.

The Making of a Hero

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In 2011 The Kendrick brothers released their fourth film, Courageous. The movie opens with Nathan Hayes pumping gas. On his way to grab a squeegee to clean his windshield, he turns his back to his truck for just a split second. In that moment another man jumps into the truck and begins to drive away. Without hesitating for even a second Nathan sprints toward his truck, throws his upper body through the open window, grabs onto the steering wheel and begins fighting for control of the truck. When the truck goes off of the road and into the ditch it becomes clear that it was never the truck he was fighting for but rather his young son who was in the back seat.  The question would you have hung onto the wheel is asked throughout the movie.

Recently I was thinking about that question. We all want to be able to say yes. We would all like to think that we would be unselfish and heroic, risking life and limb for our families and friends if there was ever a need.

But as I was meditating on this I suddenly began asking a different question. Instead of asking would you hold onto the wheel I began asking are you holding onto the wheel.

Heroes are built in and through the mundane. If we are not willing to put the needs of others ahead of our own and act unselfishly in our everyday lives what makes us think that when there is a threat we will act heroically?

Too often we live lives of selfishness. We want to be heroes for our families and our friends but we wait for something big to happen forgetting that it is through the little things that we prepare for the big things.

David cared for sheep before he was entrusted with a kingdom.

This is how God builds us. He gives us little things and when we prove faithful in those things He entrusts us with more.

Are you holding onto the wheel? That is the question. Not would you have held onto the wheel but rather are you?

Are you holding onto the wheel in prayer? The Bible makes it clear that there is a real battle being fought in the spiritual realm. Are you fighting for your family your friends and your coworkers on your knees?

Are you holding onto the wheel in your daily life? Every day we have the opportunity to live unselfishly putting other people’s needs and desires above our own. That is what heroism is. Are you practicing unselfishness now?

The idea that we will be heroic when a need arises is simply a foolish notion if we are not practicing unselfishness now. As Christians, we are called to pour out our lives in service to others. That begins here and now in the little things.

We are called to be faithful in the mundane. How we live in our ordinary moments will determine how we will live in our extraordinary ones.

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:3-11