When I was fourteen and new to the whole teenage thing, I went with my youth group on a missions trip for 10 days to a few places across Eastern Canada. Our motto was: “40 people, 10 days, 8 cities, 1 bus, 1 message: Get Off The Fence“. In those 8 cities, we did services: open-air services, youth services, church services, and everywhere we set up our equipment, we led worship and did some sort of dramatic interpretation of our motto, “Get Off The Fence”. Today, at twenty-five, that message is sinking in.
Jesus, talking to his disciples:
“He that is faithful with little things is faithful with big things also. He that is not honest with little things is not honest with big things. If you have not been faithful with riches of this world, who will trust you with true riches? If you have not been faithful in that which belongs to another person, who will give you things to have as your own?
No servant can have two bosses. He will hate the one and love the other. Or, he will be faithful to one and not faithful to the other. You cannot be faithful to God and to riches at the same time.”
The proud religious law-keepers heard all these things. They loved money so they made fun of Jesus. Jesus said to them, “You are the kind of people who make yourselves look good before other people. God knows your hearts. What [people] think is good is hated in the eyes of God. Luke 16:10-15, NLV
Tonight, PJ challenged the youth group where I “sponsor”. He asked, “Can you honestly say that God and not money or materialism is your master?” He encouraged us to weigh our motives, testing ourselves by inquiring which master occupies the most time, thought and effort in our everyday lives.
I know what people think is good, and I can usually emulate it quite well, especially in church, where people are quick to judge something that seems to serve the world rather than God. But when there’s no one there to watch me, no one to impress, I’m not quite that person. I recognize that God is in me, I have a good heart, I’m a leader, I’m a “woman of God”, I’ve made good choices, etc. Clarification: this isn’t about self-esteem, folks; this is about spiritual discipline.
Our speaker last week gave us 5 Spiritual Disciplines to live by:
1. Simple & Sacrificial Living
2. Prayer, Fasting & Study
3. Solitude & Silence
5. Service to Others
In my daily life, I don’t naturally choose to engage in these disciplines. I don’t fill more time with these activities than music, movies, shopping, reading, etc. (again, clarification: this is not about not being able to have fun with music, movies, shopping reading, etc., but rather about balance and, again, DISCIPLINE!)
I wanna be faithful and honest with those things that seem so inconsequential in this big, wide world of media and malls (both of which I will continue to love), and I sure as hell don’t want to languish on the fence between two masters. So help me God, I will learn the discipline of taking time to serve my true master so that I am not found unfaithful.