Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world â€“ the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does â€“ comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)
Last night, I went to a work…let’s see what shall I call it?…’bonus party’. Dinner. Thing. I work for a multi-billion dollar, world-wide company who, unlike many in today’s economy, is making money and hiring more people, not laying them off. We reached a goal and so a vice president, marketing director, and regional director came into town and hosted a dinner, provided a DJ, and gave away some nice door prizes. There were many minutes of applause for a job well done.
Applause is an audio manifestation of approval. We grow up looking for approval. I don’t remember the day I took my first steps but if my parents were anything like I was with my children â€“ they went berserk and so I found out that if I was ‘good’ I would receive applause. I liked applause!
If I listen, God applauds. To some that may be an uncomfortable thought. Well, maybe thinking that God pats you on the back is better. Or â€“ He gives a ‘thumbs up’! God is my Father. He watches me every day take baby steps of faith on new ground. And when I keep my eyes on Him and trust Him and obey Him to take those steps, God does approve!
So â€“ for which applause will I be listening? John states it as which will I love â€“ the world or the Father? The Sunday School answer is a no-brainer but what do my daily thoughts and actions reflect? When I am talking with my co-workers do I laugh when they make fun of each other or a customer or do I do as Jesus would do? Is my spirit open to the opportunities to ‘give’ beyond the basics of my job, truly being Jesus’ ambassador?
My Father has loved me and encouraged me to grow up. In that maturing, I can tell Him that more than any applause I want to build a legacy of faith. Long after I am gone from this job, long after I am gone from this world, I pray that those whom I leave behind will remember not me â€“ but the Jesus I love and my God that I desire to glorify.