What’s In It For Me?
This week we’re talking about wholehearted commitment– what it looks like, what the Bible says, and how we can go “all in” with our faith. I’m going to touch on three areas which specifically highlight why God desires this for our lives. Hope you enjoy reading!
If you’re like me, sometimes your love and appreciation of others is driven by the “WIIFM” mentality. You’ve heard it before: “What’s In It For Me?” Businesses and organizations have used it for motivating and persuading employees for years. The underlying theme behind it is that people are best motivated by self-interest. I can be that way at times also in my relationships.
- You don’t have any money for lunch? (WIIFM: Sure, I’ll cover you today. You will be buying me lunch next week, right?)
- You need me to wake up early and run a few errands? (WIIFM: Sure, as long as I get to sleep in tomorrow with no interruptions!)
- You need me to lead that small group at church? (WIIFM: I’d be happy to, as long as we follow my agenda and study the topics I’m interested in.)
We’re all looking out for numero uno: a mentality that feeds on self-service, thrives on covetousness, and breeds isolation. With God on the other hand, I believe that wholehearted commitment is what He is after. The first part of living that out is loving God for who He is and not what He can do for us. Before we can fully experience God’s love, we have to properly understand who God is.
Isaiah 6: 1-5 reminds us of what our only response to such a God should be:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
The amazing thing about this passage is that Isaiah’s first and only response to such a holy God was to say, “You are holy. I am unworthy.” Instead of responding with requests, petitions, and personal stories, Isaiah made it completely about God.
So, we know about God. We know who He is (holy, perfect, mighty, etc.). Why do we flip things around and, in turn, make it about us?
My self-interest meter seems to hit 100% quite often. I expect a little blessing from God from time to time. I mean, surely good things will come to someone who serves at church multiple hours every Sunday, tithes regularly, prays for his family, and pretty much does all the “right” things. I even have this tattered little “Christian card” that I pull out of my back pocket that reads, “Dustin: Christian” (okay–not really, but you get the point). Don’t all those things matter?
Sure, they are good things. They serve and encourage other believers. They serve God. When doing those things, however, get to the point where my love and desire for God is divided by my own self interests, I need to have a little heart check.