Do you live for God’s glory or your own comfort?
I think my pastor posed that question one time in a sermon. It hangs on my refrigerator but it’s been there so long I honestly can’t remember where it came from.
It hit me after an incident with one of my kiddos and the subsequent conversation about it with another mama, that too many of us live not only for our own comfort, but for our children’s comfort as well. An incident had happened with several of the girls on one of my daughter’s sports teams. And yes, my daughter was one of them. As a parent, we often don’t want to see or acknowledge our kids as sinners. I often pray that my child’s sin will find them out, though. Not because I like dealing with sin, because I don’t, but because I want it to be found out now when hopefully the consequences aren’t that deep or that long-lasting and I can help them navigate through the situation. But honestly, as a mama, I don’t always want to navigate the situation. I don’t always want to know the wrong they’ve done. Most of us don’t want to have the sins of our children reflect negatively upon us either. And we’d like our kids to be comfortable and avoid a lot of strife. I listened to the mom who told me that her prayer that day had been for her daughter NOT to be benched over the incident. There’s that comfort thing creeping up again.
This is a good mama. This is a good family.
And, she had given her daughter sound advice in this situation. She told her daughter to tell the truth and to face the consequences as they came…but her mama prayer was for her daughter’s comfort; that she would be able to play in the final game.
That morning I had shared a verse with my daughter from Psalms:
I am by no means saying I am a better mama than my friend. I am not a perfect parent with the perfect answers and the perfect prayers. I am perfectly flawed just like the next person. And my kiddos are no angels either. I wanted to make sure that she really had a broken and contrite heart because she had done the wrong thing and NOT because she was wanting to avoid being benched.
This was the verse I felt led to share and the lesson that I wanted to impart in this situation. My daughter is usually compassionate and she had already expressed remorse and compassion in this situation, but I wanted to drive the point further as she left that morning to talk with her coach. My prayer was not for her to be comfortable or for either of us to avoid missing this teachable moment. It was for her heart attitude. In a world where we like to blame others, justify our actions, and pretty much suffer no consequences or own up to our actions, I think I may have actually seized the teachable moment in the uncomfortable.
Of course, I would’ve liked comfort rather than having dealt with the situation at all. I would have preferred not to have been embarrassed as a parent or talked about as a family. Yes, I would’ve liked to avoid the uncomfortable, but that’s not really what we’re called to. As believers, as one who wants to be conformed to the likeness of Christ and to bring God glory, sometimes it’s going to be uncomfortable.
I didn’t set out consciously to choose God’s glory and to live for God’s glory in that moment. And maybe that’s the beauty of it. If God is conforming me to the likeness of His Son, the Spirit is working in me. The prayers that I pray about reflecting God’s glory in my daily walk are hopefully becoming more ‘habit’ and who I am, rather than conscious decisions that I make. And maybe, just maybe, these are the parts of my life that will be caught by my children; God’s glory over comfortable.
MVF Women’s Ministry Director