If you ever need a good laugh (or just need to feel a little better about yourself), google “you only had one job.” The memes that come up are some of my favorite on all of the interwebs!
The drain grate surrounded by a pool of water because it sits too high.
The fire escape that doesn’t quite meet up with the window of the apartment.
The “shcool zone” sign posted by the roadside.
Spiritually, you and I really only have one job to do, but we botch it all the time. We’re all guilty. Sometimes I picture God pinching his brow and shaking His head watching us screw up. I’m so thankful He’s a merciful God.
It’s really easy to get out of your lane. You take your eyes off of the goal, you lose track of your assignment for just a minute, and before you know it, you’re miles off course doing something God never asked you to do. And all the while, you’re feeling 110% justified in your actions, even feeling proud of the “service” you’re doing for the Lord.
But the kingdom suffers when we leave our lane. Feelings get hurt and bitterness takes root. Newer believers become discouraged and disillusioned. Unbelievers point the finger of ridicule and label us hypocrites. Silly divisions arise and kill our spiritual momentum.
The fastest way to lose your power is to leave your purpose.
God never asked you to impose your personal standard of righteousness on everybody else! Listen, truth is truth and sin is sin, but we need to let God’s word say what’s what. And when He doesn’t say, you and I need to keep quiet! We can all have our opinions in these areas. We can all have our own personal ideas about what pleases and honors God. But it’s not your job to make sure everyone around you rises to your level of “holiness.”
Make some time to read Romans 14. Paul reminds us to stop judging one another and putting stumbling blocks in each other’s paths. If you believe dressing a certain way or not eating certain foods or observing certain days honors God, then, by all means, hold to your convictions. But do it between you and God without forcing those things on others and looking down on them when they don’t meet your criteria. Stop turning preferences into precepts.
God never asked you to police anybody else’s praise! Sometimes we give the side-eye to someone who, in our opinion, is “doing too much.” One day a woman broke a jar of perfume that cost a year’s wages and poured it on Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair. That was too much for some of the bystanders to stomach. Their minds immediately went to what else the money could have been used for. They resented her pure, unbridled worship.
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone!” Some of us need to hear that. You don’t know what God has delivered a person from. You don’t know what the Holy Spirit has put in a person’s heart. You don’t know what God has given someone to give back to Him. Mind your business and focus on how good He’s been to you. Maybe your worship will go up a level or two when you stop worrying about everyone else and start counting your blessings.
God never asked you to make anybody pay for what they’ve done! Some people love to assume the role of punisher. They need to make sure others suffer sufficiently for their wrongs. That’s not your job. In fact, that job belongs exclusively to God! He claimed it very clearly and marked His territory quite definitively in this regard. He said point blank, “Vengeance is mine! I will repay!”
I don’t think we consider what we’re doing when we seek revenge or try to settle the score with someone. We’re actually taking something that belongs to God. We’re edging Him out, pushing Him aside to take over His role as though we could perform it better than Him! That’s a dangerous position to put yourself in. I don’t think I want that smoke, as the young folks say!
God never asked you to condemn anyone! We’ve got that bad as believers. Not all of us, but waaaay too many of us seem to think God put us here to prematurely put other people where they’re going. He didn’t.
This one’s really pretty easy. In John 3:17, Jesus said He didn’t come to condemn the world. Now guess what…if HE didn’t come to condemn, WHO IN THE WORLD DO WE THINK WE ARE?!? As long as a person is alive, there’s hope for them. Just teach them. Just encourage them. Just love them like Jesus loves them, the same way He loves you.
Perfect segue. Like I said, you and I really only have one job, and that’s to love. All we need to focus on is loving God and loving each other. That’s it. That’s all the commandments in a nutshell (Matthew 22:37-40). That’s what makes you like your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:48). That’s the main mark of true disciples, the way the world will know that we belong to Jesus (John 13:34-35). Anything else, and you’re off task.
If you don’t stay in your lane, you may not end up where you think you’re headed.