Live to Forgive: Red-faced Before God
Don’t fail the red face test!
When I stand before God, will I be able to answer questions about my personal life, my ministry, and my church without embarrasment in regard to the resources God has entrusted me with?
After returning back to Vegas from an amazing Christian Stewardship Network conference in Dallas, this question posed by Derek Sisterhen in his teaching, “Lessons from the Hat Rack,” stands out in my mind. It’s one of those questions that can lead us to repentance if we choose to really evaluate every area of stewardship in our lives.
When I think of the word stewardship, my mind can have a tendency to steer toward the area of finance, but this conference was about stewarding with integrity all that God has entrusted me with: my time, my talent, and my treasures. If I believe that everything belongs to God . . . and I do, then I have to ask myself the tough questions about my personal life, my ministry, and my church.
Unfortunately in my humanness, I have a tendency to want to point the finger at someone else who has not done this so well. The Holy Spirit convicts me to ask the questions personally if I truly long to be more like Jesus. And, I realize if I don’t want to ask the questions about myself and my own integrity in regard to stewardship, I have other issues – PRIDE and ARROGANCE!
I must ask these questions in all three levels at a personal level, ministry level, and church level.
- Time – Am I stewarding the time God has given me well in my personal life, my ministry, and my church?
- Talent – Am I stewarding the gifts God has given me well in my personal life, my ministry, and my church?
- Treasure – Am I stewarding the treasures God has given me well in my personal life, my ministry, and my church?
We even have to be careful in framing the questions up with the word “MY.” Remember, I believe everything belongs to God. The “MY” can quickly lead us astray to guarding “my” power, “my” fame, and “my” fortune for fear of losing it all. Then our tendency defaults to defensive control instead of stewardship. This need to control does not just affect ourselves but it affects others and must be investigated. Is the fear of losing control an indicator that our security is not from God and instead comes from self or others? Is it the need to control in order to hide something that needs to be confessed?
God believes in us so much he entrusts his time, his ministry, and his church to us. He entrusts his precious people to us, his children. The greatest treasures he could ever entrust us with includes the beautiful lives of people: a spouse, children, staff, ministries, and a church. Now it becomes even more critical to ask the questions through God’s definition of loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Will I be able to stand blameless before God or will I be red-faced?
During this time of Lent, let’s ask the questions that are important, push past arrogance and pride, and enter the space of humility and repentance. Jesus died so we could be blameless but let’s not take advantage of his death on the cross.
Col. 1:22 “Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”