By a single sister in Christ. I’m so thankful for her willingness to share:
WHO IS YOUR MASTER?
For months this question has run through my mind daily and hourly. If I am being honest, sometimes it runs thru my mind much more than I care to admit. It is a reminder question, a reminder to me about whom and what I chose to give control over my life.
Control is something I crave.
I do not like surprises and I do not like to guess outcomes of situations. I like to be fully prepared. I keep an emergency kit in my car, my sister has all passwords to my accounts, and I have phrases that I will say on the phone or over text, to my mother, if I am in a bad situation. My mother (who lives close to me) knows when I go for a run, my exact route, and when I return. I have taken personal safety classes. I write a schedule for every single day. I am generally ahead of deadlines.It is not that I expect anything to happen; I just have a fear of being unprepared.
I do not have a fear of the bad happening; my fear is hearing someone say, “If only you had been prepared.”
You get the point. I have been accused of being a tad OCD, which is a fair accusation. This personality type makes me good at my job, but it does not always make me a great servant. When God asked me to trust Him blindly and to serve Him on His terms it created quite the conundrum. He gifted me with both a servant’s heart and a type A personality. I love to serve. Serving is my passion and I thrive in it, but I like for things to go my way because I always have a reason. I have generally done my research and have thought things through completely. I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl. I see both of these personality traits as gifts, if they are used in a God-honoring way.
LEARNING TO HAVE A SUBMISSIVE HEART
I help my pastor with the children’s classes at church. Last year he wanted to get me some t-shirts to wear when working with the kids. He sent me the proof of the shirt. There was a large logo on the front and I asked if it could be moved to the back, and the front be left blank. (This was the third change he had made based on my preferences.) He said, “No, there has to be a logo on the front.”
I got my feelings hurt because I felt that he was not listening to me. I felt that he should have asked me why I did not want a large logo on the front. I had a good reason, in my mind. I told him not to waste money on the shirts because I would not wear it. He asked me why I had such a bad attitude. My pride reared its ugly head. I thought, “Me? I have a bad attitude? You are the leader and you will not even listen to my ideas or hear my heart! YOU should be a servant leader. YOU should want to make the person volunteering for you happy.”
Yep, that was what was truly inside my sinful heart. I had been reading April’s blog. God had made such changes in my life. I was feeling pretty good about how Christ-like I was becoming. (Can you see how prideful I was in so many ways?!) Thankfully, the Holy Spirit convicted me; I felt like He was saying, “So, Lee Ann, about that submissive heart…” My mind raced back to a video where April said,
“I am not responsible for how my husband treats me; I am only responsible for how I act”.
The weight of my sin hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt physically ill. I typed an apology text, because I was at work. Sunday morning I ran to my pastor (who has been a friend of mine for 18 years) and apologized with tears in my eyes. I was expecting a small lecture of how he is the head of the church and he has his reasons, probably because I may have responded that way.
He hugged me (a side hug), told me he forgave me, thanked me for coming to him, and then said, “Lee Ann, we are in this together. We are both learning our roles and growing. We are both stubborn, but we both have hearts that long to please God. I am thankful to be working with you, because I am learning how to better communicate with different personality types such as yours. Thank you for growing with me in this”.
I was floored. He had every right to scold me. I expected shame and I was given grace. I expected a lecture and I was given mercy.
Does this sound like someone you’ve heard of? My pastor chose to be Christ-like when my attitude was anything but Christ-like. I learned so much about myself and Christ in that moment.
SEEKING CHRIST FIRST
I am never going to be a perfect being on this earth. I am never going to get everything correct. At best, I have hope that He is constantly pruning me and guiding me through sanctification. I placed the emphasis on me and being amazed at what I had changed in myself. I did not change anything! I was a sinner who deserved hell. God in His infinite wisdom, loves me enough to correct me, mold me, and radically change me.
Submission is not easy. It goes against every bit of my nature. Thankfully, with Christ, we are able to take His nature. When your every breath longs to please Him, your desires truly become that which He desires for you.
Control is overrated. If having control means I do not trust my Savior, He can have every ounce of control.
If being prepared means I am not willing to follow the nudges of the Holy Spirit, then I pray every plan I have made goes awry. If changing makes me prideful, I pray for quiet pruning and humbling situations. We cannot serve self or the world, and serve God. We must choose once and for all, who will be our Master. (Matthew 6:24, John 12:25-26)