Don’t Aim at the Wrong Target with Scripture and Prayer

Walking down the wrong roadI haven’t really shared this anywhere, but my wife and I are just getting out of a difficult season in our marriage. We weren’t in major trouble or on the brink of divorce, but we were going through one of those valleys in our relationship where we both needed to step up and work on our marriage.

So for the last year or so, I’ve put a lot of effort into trying to be a good husband – the husband that God calls me to be.

What a great and holy desire, right?

But it wasn’t, in my case.

I went about it the wrong way. And the mistake I made is a great illustration for how we can get off-course in attempting to be good stewards of our time.

What I Really Wanted

I poured over the scriptures on marriage. I read book upon book. I listened to podcasts and sermons. I thought long and hard. My prayer again and again was for God to change me into the type of husband he wanted me to be.

But deep down in my heart, I wanted God to change me into the husband he wanted me to be… so that my wife would respond to that and change. I wanted to change me, yes – but with the end result that she would then change.

I wanted to follow God’s commands concerning marriage, but my main motivation was that I wanted to be happy. I had effectively turned God into my servant, trying to enlist the scriptures and godly wisdom to enable me to chase my idols even harder.

I didn’t want Christ. I wanted to use Christ’s power to fulfill my idolatrous desires.

Our Aim is Wrong in Many Areas

We do the same with so many other areas of our life.

Help me to be the parent you want me to be… so that I can avoid hardship and can be a proud parent.

Help me to honor my physical body… so that I can be really attractive and feel better about myself.

Help me to be a good steward of my finances… so that I don’t have to worry about money and can have a nice lifestyle.

Help me to be productive. Help me to be a good steward of my time. Help me to fight procrastination. Help me to wake up early. Help me to prioritize. Help me to get organized.

But why do we ask those things? What are we seeking?

Are we seeking Christ or are we seeking a relaxing lifestyle?
Are we seeking Christ or are we seeking more accomplishment at work?
Are we seeking Christ or are we seeking approval from others and ourselves?

The End Destination

It is a great thing to want to be productive – obviously that’s a major thrust of this site. It’s wonderful to want to be a good steward of our time.

But that motivation has to stem from the deeper motivation of wanting God. Wanting to bring glory to him. Wanting to have a closer walk. Wanting to honor him with obedience.

Christ himself has to be our end destination.

I’ll say that again: Christ himself has to be our end destination.

Not money, romance, power, status, or approval. Not a clean house, a finished to-do list, or guilt-free relaxation.

Don’t make the mistake that I did. Don’t deceive yourself and think you’re serving Christ when you’re really hoping God will serve you.

Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar

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