First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Seriously? Yes, seriously.

November 16, 2016

As the baby of my family I have had to endure some difficult life lessons. Things like:

* Older siblings are 'much stronger' than I am.  :(

* Older siblings are a 'little smarter' than I am. :)

* The world does not revolve around me.  :(

* I am loved but not any more than my siblings. 

* Being married to another baby of the family has its challenges. :)

In general, I thought for the longest time that my importance always came first. Over 56 years of living, I have come to an understanding about a lot of things. Perhaps my most important discovery has been found in the thought that God must be the most important relationship in my life. I am reminded of the words John the Baptist uttered, He must become greater and I must become less.

    When I want to posture and try to get my own way, I am reminded, "Don't take yourself so seriously." When I want to throw a tantrum and gain leverage over a sibling or anybody else, I am reminded, "Don't take yourself so seriously." When I interact with another baby of the family, I hear that voice speaking, "Don't take yourself so seriously." There is one with whom I must have a serious relationship and that one is God! I owe everything to God and God must be sovereign in my life.

        "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received

        from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

        (1Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

My faith development has enriched the idea of taking distasteful things with a grain of salt. My journey has been an everyday classroom experience on how to laugh more and gripe less. I am making that internal perspective switch that thinks less about my importance and more about the grand importance God has in my life. An interesting change is occurring within me. My relationships and the growth of them is gaining new life. When over the last 56 years I have looked less at my own selfish desires and more toward the needs of others, blessing has come to me. My frustration with unexpected events has diminished as well. I would love to say that frustration and anger have completely disappeared, but that is a work of God in progress.

    When I savor the text from 1 Corinthians 6, I am reminded of the selfless nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus sacrificed His life so that you and I could have life. He did not consider himself above or beyond humanity but became part of it. Our best life response toward Jesus is to live for Him. That requires a recalibration of our heart and mind. It requires us to stop being above and separated from others and become more relational. Every day is another lesson in taking ourselves a little less serious and turning our serious attention toward the Lord.

    Our word from the Word of God comes from Micah 6 and reminds me and hopefully you exactly what God requires of us. (Do fairly) (Do justly) (Do compassion) (Love with loyalty) (Don't take ourselves so seriously) (Take God seriously) Yes, take God seriously!

 

If God becomes more important than our personal desires, then spiritual maturity is taking a firm place in our heart. Take some time today and think of unpleasant things that have happened to you. Consider how those events may have incensed you and churned anger within. In light of eternity, consider how those unpleasant events could have been handled differently. Don't take yourself so seriously. Seriously pursue God.

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