Gleanings – It’s not about you John!

Hebrews 12:3-11

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him.”

How does that sound in a world of peppermint discipline? God punishes and we should not regard it lightly. As painful as it is when it comes, “it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

It is not for others to judge when God is disciplining or punishing. But we ourselves should be assessing our circumstances, especially the difficult ones, in light of what God might be teaching us.

Back in September of 2011, Kristen and I launched a bible study. We worked together to form a list of all the folks we had met in Atlanta. I then sent out an e-mail announcing the study. I invited people via our monthly newsletter. I sent a reminder e-mail. I prepared for hours the day of the study. We prepared the house. We made Rwandan coffee. We baked homemade cookies. And no one came. Not one person.

Sometimes we reap the ordinary consequences of our decisions. In this case I think God was chastening me, proactively trying to rid me of a propensity to make everything about me. And that was my first inclination. “I did not market this well. I didn’t spend enough time promoting this.” That was followed by “Woe is me. Nobody loves me. I am not worthy.” My next inclination was to double down on making it all about me. “I’ll try harder. I’ll add graphics to the invite. I will call people personally to remind them about the initial meeting.” It was quite comical.

I didn’t do anything really. Except I trusted God more that He was going to build what he promised. Almost haphazardly eleven of us gathered on a Monday evening a month later. My role? Get out of the way.

No wonder the opening line of Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” says “It’s not about you.” Too bad reading that many years ago wasn’t enough.


Leave a Reply