Life At Its Best: Our heavenly father knows best
By Jim Graff
July 18, 2014 at 2:18 a.m.
"Father knows best." As a dad, I'd like to accept this statement as fact. However, after raising four kids, I've learned it's not always the case.
Each of my kids has a unique personality and temperament. Sometimes, this causes their perspective of a situation to differ from mine. At first, it was a challenging reality. I found myself wanting to teach them to see life the way I did. However, I quickly realized that the goal wasn't to train them in my way of thinking but in God's. He's the one who truly knows best, and ultimately, it's His thoughts and ways that will make their lives better.
The same should be true of God's Church. He wants our gatherings to be places where His thoughts and perspectives reign. He wants His principles to set the standard. The problem is that it's easy to let pride keep us from letting Him take priority. It causes us to see our ways as supreme. When that happens, we often find ourselves instructing the world in our ways rather than pointing them to God's.
This was the issue Jesus was having with the religious leaders in Matthew 23:15. He said, "You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you've succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are."
Clearly, Jesus was pretty upset. He saw the Pharisees ministering to people out of pride rather than out of a desire to help. They were encouraging people to follow their example instead of helping them follow Christ. He knew that if this continued, His message would never impact people's lives the way He intended.
The same holds true today. We can't reach the world by instructing them based on our knowledge because we can't see everything clearly. God can, though. He knows exactly what people need to live better, and He wants to use us to point them to it.
Doing that starts with developing a greater respect for God's word. Pride develops when we see life only from our perspective. That's why daily Bible reading is so important. It allows us to challenge our thoughts against those of God's word - identifying our wrong perspectives and aligning them with His. When we do, we'll become humbled by the results.
Then, not only must we respect God's word, but we must also use it to bring out potential in others. This is the opposite of what the Pharisees did. They used it to bring themselves glory while making others feel inferior. But that's not the role of the church.
Ephesians 4:15 says, "Speak the truth in love." We must share God's message in a way that brings people hope about what He can make their life into. Tell them the difference He's made in your life. Inspire faith in their heart about what He can do. Let's help point people to Him as we pursue His ways together.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit faithfamilyvictoria.com.