I don’t know about you, but I have this image in my mind of who I want my kids to be as adults. Before you go beating me up, yes there was a time when this image included a loving spouse, a great fulfilling career and 2.5 kids in a great school district. Thankfully I have spiritually matured past this. These days this image I have of my kids’ future looks dirtier tougher and even more fulfilling than any career could ever be. My desire now is to see my babies living a servant’s life. My desire is that my kids’ lives are marked by the pain and heartbreak that Jesus experienced as He walked through this fallen world. (But let’s be honest, I’m still hoping that at least one of them has those 2.5 grankids for me!!)
Not too long ago I heard a sermon about next level living. The preacher talked about how over time, your life should be marked by a change for the better. Sports is an area in which this is very clear. Take a great high school basketball player. When she firsts starts playing, she can barely dribble the ball and maybe she only plays a day or two a week. As she matures, she plays more often, eventually daily, and she’s able to dribble with her eyes closed. When she gets to high school, her workouts are more intense than they were years before this. By the time she makes it to college, her workout routine is even more intense. Once she gets drafted by the professional teams, her workouts and practices are much more intense and frequent. This is like the saying, “What got you here won’t get you there.” The same is true in your spiritual walk. Each day should be a maturing effort toward the Standard (Jesus).
One of the points he made that stood out the most to me is this, “Don’t be pharisaical in your walk. You should be pushing your brothers and sisters to be better, rather than looking down on them”. Do you remember the parable Jesus told? Flip over to Luke 18:9-14,
“The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: 10 “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people — greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
13 “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me — a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In this parable Jesus specifically addresses this pharisaical thinking. It was the fact that this Pharisee was so caught up in his own righteousness, that he forgot the true goal of our lives. Looking down on those around you for any reason, is wrong and against the call of God on our lives. His intent for you being set apart was never so you could sit on a pedestal and look down on the other image bearers around you. His goal was that you could show others that He loves them even in the midst of their sin covered mess….just like He did you!
Our goal isn’t to just make it to Heaven. Our goal is to make it to Heaven and take as many people with us as we can!! This is what’s called being mission minded. This is what I want to see in my children once they become adults. I want my babies to see God’s image all around them and like Jesus, be so moved with compassion that they desire to serve and love on them so much that they ask, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 2)
What about you? What is it that your heart desires to see in your children?