Not a Lucky Charm
Our God is different than all the false idols and other things that mankind worships and puts its faith in. One of the primary ways He is different is that we are called to follow Him, not the other way around. I know that to most christians that statement doesn’t seem very deep, but let’s think about it in contrast for a moment.
Behavioral science and every salesmanship class tells us that people make decisions based on WII-FM: What’s in it for me? What do I get out of the deal? What do I gain from the relationship? How do I prosper? Many people follow this same mindset into their relationship with God or a god. Many of the world religions and all the idols we put faith in stem from this mindset. If I do this then I will get that. If I carry this charm. If I bow down to this statue. If I make this pilgrimage. If I give this donation. If I live good enough. If I clean my toilet (in case you think I’m joking about that last one, read this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_god). It is the classic WII-FM. They want a god, whether it be luck or prosperity or health or happiness or whatever, that will follow them. Put a coin in the slot and out pops a reward.
But, we know WII-FM does not rule everything we do. If it did, there would be no organ donors. If it did, there would be no food kitchens or homeless shelters. If it did, there would be no mothers. Let’s face it, the fact that we survived infancy, when we did absolutely nothing to benefit our parents except give sleep deprevation, dirty diapers, gas, vomit and screaming, proves our parents decision making was not driven by WII-FM.
Neither is our relationship with God. God does not promise to be our lucky charm. God does not make deals with us that if we do X He will do Y. Actually, it is the opposite. God says follow me. period. Not because of what is in it for us, but because it is the only right thing to do. Not because of what we can give to or get from God, but, because, God is our Father and He loves us like only a parent can.
To make the point painfully clear, the things Jesus promised to His followers would not have rated high on the WII-FM scale. He promised persecution. He promised a cross. He promised hatred from the world. He promised increased pain from the world. But He also promised some things in the midst and to follow those. He promised peace. He promised adoption. He promised love and comfort. He promised a room in His Father’s house. He promised eternity without the things sin brought into this world.
So, how do you decide about the most important relationship you will ever make in your life, your relationship with God? Do you decide based on what you get out of the deal? Or do you decide based on what is true and right? Do you decide based on tempory emotion or eternal fact? The fact that we get to have this choice at all proves that God is the God of Love – no other spiritual being would care enough about us and love us enough to give us the choice to choose or reject Him.
through deliberate plan and foreknowledge to full experience the worst of humanity and, even in such, not stray from a life honoring of God and free of sin, yet, being subjected until death for the payment of the sin of all mankind.
Thanking Him in prayer and turning my life over to Him.
As followers, why would we expect better circumstance than Jesus. We are hated because the world hates Him. Also, to truly follow Jesus is to commit to the fact that we are a soul in a body and the more important (long term) of the two is the soul. We must be willing to forgo worldly comfort and pleasure in exchange for eternal sanctification.