This is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to my kids. It was too long to post the entire letter, so I’ve just included the last two paragraphs along with some quotes from Amy Carmichael’s book If.
Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
We absolutely do not have the right to walk on others to accomplish God’s will. We do not sin to accomplish God’s will. We do not walk contrary to others just to prove a point. God is not in that type of rebellious behavior. If rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, then isn’t it of Satan for us to make a decision to do something or not do something out of a knee jerk response? That is not spirituality or a better way. It’s just plain rebellion. It is not of God. Satan is manipulating us for his own glory, not God’s and we’re buying it. I’ve had to check my own behavior lately because I want to do things just because it’s different or the opposite of those who have hurt me. That’s wrong. If it’s not God centered – if it’s not for His glory, then why am I doing it? It’s out of self-satisfaction and that’s the wrong reason.
I want to serve God. That’s my desire. But I get in the way. I want to prove to others that God is directing me. That desire is wrong. My goal ought to be to prove to God that I want what He has or that I want to be more like Him. It’s about Him, not me. If my path to God or for God hurts others or disrespects their convictions or turns them cold toward me, then I better look to make sure it’s God’s path and not mine. Most likely I’ll find out it was my path all along. I need to get on and stay on His path – especially for the benefit of others. It is a great responsibility to lead. If I press my opinion or beliefs to the point of alienating or hurting another, then where is the love of God in my life? My pursuits will have been for nothing. Maybe I can have the satisfaction of believing I was right and they were wrong, but that satisfaction won’t change lives or direct people to Christ. Self satisfaction over our accomplishments or discoveries or even beliefs still begins with self – and that is not for God’s glory. I must realize that what God convicts others of is right and good and I must respect that and figure out how it fits into His will for my life.
God is capable of working it all out without our help. We just need to obey, love, watch and wait.
“If I am inconsiderate about the comfort of others, or their feelings, or even of their little weaknesses; if I am careless about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way; if I make the sweet running of household wheels more difficult to accomplish, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
“If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too, and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”
“If I want to be known as the doer of something that has proved the right thing, or as the one who suggested that it should be done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Amy Carmichael