Do you give to get? Is this selfish?
Jacob wrestled with God and when God said to stop, Jacob replied: “I will not let you go until you bless me” Gen. 32:26, ESV
Is your friend like Jacob too? Wanting, wanting, wanting. Does she want blessings too? Do you? Here’s a tool to find out.
A Tool to Help You
This week keep a log with you. Paper and pen, or digital. Both work fine. Jot down what you did and why you did it. Then read your data and reflect.
Did you do something because you perceived it would bless you? That you gave time or money or a back rub to get something in return?
An example: I may bring flowers home to my wife, believing she would bless me. I may give her flowers because I love her (and seeing the smile on her face) or because I acted like a dope and want to make up with her (and be forgiven). We rarely act unless we have attached a perceived blessing to it. Don’t you agree? Think about it.
What Our Actions Reveal
Our actions may reveal an “idol of the heart.” It is from our hearts that God wants us to worship Him and Him alone (Isa. 29:13).
Look again at your log.
You’ll see that the blessings you pursued were either:
- to glorify God, or
- to experience your own personal pleasure.
If the purpose was to glorify and bless God then continue doing what you’re doing, but if it was for your own pleasure then repent of your idolatry.
To repent means to do a U-turn. It means to put off your old self and put on the new self.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:22-24, NIV
By the power of the Holy Spirit you can begin to consistently act, think, and speak as a beloved child of God. You can give to give out of your abundance in Christ. You have every spiritual blessing in Christ now (Eph. 1:3). Amazing, isn’t it!