So often in my life, I have told myself that I was working for a righteous cause, justice, or even God, but far more often than I would care to admit, my most compelling motivation has been the surge of energy and affirmation from taking a stand, leading the charge or doing the right thing. In the end, my good deeds were more about me than about anything transcendent.
I must confess that this has even been true in my devotional life. The object of Christian worship is to direct one’s own attention away from one’s self and towards God, yet how many times have I judged whether or not we had good worship based on the way I felt emotionally, or was nourished intellectually? I believed I was worshiping God, but clearly I was far more focused on my own satisfaction!
Though it is painful to admit it, I behave this way in all areas of my life. Even when I think I am selflessly serving God and neighbor, I still evaluate my thoughts and actions based on how they make me feel. As if the value of love and compassion came from making me feel noble and giving my life a sense of meaning.
Lord, teach me how to seek you – not for the gifts that you give or the feelings that you provoke, but only for the simple fact that you are God, the lord and love of my heart. Come, Lord Jesus, and be greater even than my own experience of you. Transform me and use me for your purposes, even if I am none the wiser.