Monday, February 13, 2006

What have you done 4 Him lately?!

Has somebody ever humbled you so much that your mouth refused to obey your mind's orders to say something?

Yesterday, at church, a fellow Christian handed me my own head on a platter after a discussion we had. Word got around that I was planning my official withdrawal from a particularly ministry in which we both serve. Before I go any futher, let me give you a little synopsis of my situation:

I serve (well, more like "served") in a group, populated by young people. One of our missions was to serve our church through our ministry while also living to walk closer with Christ. Each of us were committed to devoting ourselves to the group, while leading the church through our efforts. Sounds good, right? Well, lately I've been having issues with the overall direction of our group. There are some mitigating circumstances involving our group that have led to my decision to call it quits.

That's where this story picks up...

During our conversation, I expressed my mounting frustation with our group and the church in general. While she listened, I could just feel the pendulum swinging in my direction. I just knew that I was right. It was only a matter of time before I reeled her in. But after I finished my pony and card show, she asked me -- with an unblinking eye -- one simple question: "While you're complaining about what you're not getting out of this group, what are you putting in to it?"

Silence.

She nailed me. I felt like I was at a crowded shopping mall and the escalator just ripped my pants off (I know that only happens in cartoons, but it's fun to imagine...). As much as I wanted to find a reason to challenge her point, I realized that I had nothing left. She was absolutely correct. The only thing that I managed to force out of my mouth was, "Oh yeah? Well, what about you?" My lame comeback reminded me of the "I know you are, but what am I" defense that I used when I was six.

My futile attempts at fighting back were no match for the truth: I spend more time concentrating on what I don't get out of things and less time concentrating on what I put into things. I think that, in some respect, our service to God is like playing the stock market. We have to invest our resources before we capitalize on the returns. Simply put, before we can expect God to work for us, we must be willing to work for Him.

Back in the late nineties, Janet Jackson coined the phrase "What have you done for me lately?" in one of her hits. I can just see God asking me the same question whenever I ask Him for something. When I ask God for a particular blessing, I wonder if He responds by asking me:

  • When is the last time you visited the sick?
  • When is the last time you made a visitor feel welcomed?
  • When is the last time you gave from your heart?
  • When is the last time you prayed for your enemies?
  • When is the last time you studied My Word?
  • What have you done for Me lately?

Talk about an eyeopener.

Now, does this mean that I'm going to stay in this particular ministry? Probably not. In fact, I highly doubt it. Frankly, with this group, I feel like I've put my best foot forward -- with absolutely no return. This particular group just isn't a good match for me. But, this is not to say that I can't find an area within the church where God can use me or, more importantly, where I can serve Him.

At the end of the day, it's not about what God does in my life. It's about what I do for Him.

- ACL

6 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

saved_sinner said...

Great post!

Not too long ago, I did a seminar with the same title; God: What have you done for Him lately?

In James 5:1-6, the writer is calling for "the rich" to use their resources wisely for God. Though we tend to parallel that to the 'financial' rich, I think that we can apply that to those who are rich in the Spirit as well.

What are we doing with the resources that God has blessed us with?

Thank you for blessing my heart with your blog.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Amen to that!

Good stuff!

joanne said...

It's funny how we can ask God for so many things without doing anything for Him. Terrific post, as usual! No suprise here!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a bit confused here. If you're so committed to doing God's work, then why have you decided to give up on that particular ministry? Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

Andre said...

Thank you all for your comments.

@ saved_sinner: Trust me when I say, you've blessed me with your comments and your insight FAR MORE than I've blessed you. Thank you!

@ Joanne: You're definitely one of my favorite bloggers. You're truly a woman after God's heart.

@ anonymous #1 (?): Thank you for taking the time to respond.

@ anonymous #2: I thought that I pointed out in my post that I tried to put my best forward for that particular ministry. But, it got to a point where I felt like my spiritual growing was at a standstill and I was no longer effectively contributing to the group.

In that circumstance, I did what most sane people would do...change ships. I don't think that Jesus expects for us to hang on to titles, roles, and talents just for the sake of hanging on to them (Read the parable of talents in Matthew 25:14-18). I think that He expects for us to "find our nitch" and to use our talents in places that make the most sense. For me, this group wasn't it.

Thank you for your comments

layla said...

I think that you should make more of an effort to mend the relationship with that group.

It sounds like you have some unresolved issues with them.