It’s not hard to tell the difference between people who genuinely like you and those who are nice to you because they want something from you. I remember the girl in college who was super nice to me…because she wanted to date my roommate. I’m tempted to be really nice to people considering joining our church because we really need more leaders. When I compare those interactions to the joyful shout I get from Jack when I come home, the difference is striking. He’s not after anything. He’s just glad Dad is home.
Which is a better description of your relationship with God?
In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says this, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“(Mt.6:33) It’s a wonderfully comforting verse at the end of a passage where Jesus takes dead aim at worry and anxiety in our lives. He’s arguing that our Father in heaven knows what we need and will care for us. We don’t need to eagerly seek after the things of the world. We need to eagerly seek after God.
But how much of our God-seeking is really stuff-seeking? Are we pursuing God because we love Him or because He’s a better means to the same old ends? I’ll confess that I frequently descend into caring more about “all these things” than I do “His kingdom and His righteousness.” What about you?
By the way, if we can tell when people are using us to get something, I think it’s safe to assume we aren’t fooling God. If you’ve been trying to use God and fool Him, it’s time to repent. Attempting to use God is the height of arrogance and pride. It’s time to confess your attempted manipulation to God and ask Him for a heart that loves with pure motives. Ask Him to have mercy on you and lead your soul to a place where it pursues Him because of who He is not because of what He can do for us.
When we understand that God is more valuable than all of His gifts, worship explodes in our hearts and Christianity finally starts to make sense.