The Right Reason

April 07, 2008

“…Truly I say to you, you look for me, not because you have seen the signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied…” (John 6:26)

I enjoy playing only two sports: basketball and bowling. Why? Because it is only in those two where I excel.

Believe me, I tried racket sports: badminton, tennis and table tennis. The only similarity I have with John Mcenroe is that we both destroy our tennis rackets quite often.

I tried baseball. For some reason, I earned the intimidating exclusive monicker “Strikeout”.

I tried chess. I hold the record of having my King cornered right after my first move.

No wonder I stuck with what I am good at. But I know of some people who play any kind of sport regardless if they are good at it or not. You call them “sportsbuffs”. They play not for success or the high they get out of it, but simply for the love of the game.

In following Jesus, do we follow Him in the same way? Do we follow Him because we love Him or because of what we get from Him?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was direct enough to get to the heart of the matter when he said to those who were following Him:

“…Truly I say to you, you look for me, not because you have seen the signs, but because you ate bread and were satisfied…” (John 6:26)

I cringed while reading and re-reading this passage. Am I really following God for the right reason?

Or do I treat him like basketball or bowling where I enjoy the applause for every basket made, or strikes performed? Maybe I stick with God not because of Him but because of what I derive from my relationship with Him.

…the usual applause after I preach,

…the wonderful company of brothers and sisters from my prayer group,

…the security of His provision,

…the confidence in His sure healing whenever we get sick.

How about you? Are you with God because of what you derive from having Him in your life? Like an ATM or a vendo machine, is God a convenient source of blessings or a time-tested rescuer to bail you out in tight situations?

Or are you following Him for the right reasons — because of Him, and Him alone?

Today would be a good time to check the quality of your relationship with God. Sure, there are many benefits in following Him. But all of these should just be bonus. Make sure you follow Him not for what He gives, but for who He is — loving, faithful and incredibly marvelous God.

Work for this. Keep this in mind. Inscribe this in your heart. What will make you hold on to Him in the midst of trying times aren’t the blessings or the answered prayers. It is when God is silent or seems distant when your resolve to follow Him will be tested. It is only then when you are purified. It is then when your motives are chiseled to perfection.

And when you stand by Him in the face of your woes and in the absence of His consolation, only then will you know that you are following Him indeed, for the right reason. 

Have a blessed week ahead!

I remain, your friend in Christ,

Bobby Q.

 

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