Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What are the Judge's Expectations

Romans 8:33
Matthew 25:31-46
5yr saw a flyer about a food drive and really wanted to
participate. So she spent her money and chose what to buy.
I tried to support and guide but not take over.
I expect more out of myself than anyone expects of me. I guess I'm just a typical firstborn in that regard. But my measuring stick is crooked; or rather I am using the wrong one. At the final judgment it won't matter what I did compared to what I expected of myself nor what I did compared to what others expected of me. What will matter is what I did compared to what the Judge expected of me.
Christ Himself is the Judge, the only judge who's decision truly matters. At the end will I be one of those who sought after other people's approval or over-indulged in my own selfishness to get done what they or I thought most important? Or will I be confused by His approbation, remembering all the times when I would have liked to do more for Him, and being reminded by Him that I couldn't save the whole world but I did exactly what He called me to? For the truth is that I cannot end world hunger, I cannot live in poverty to give all my possessions to the poor, I cannot bring every orphan I encounter into my home. If I focus on all the ways I would like to serve the Lord and cannot, I will be overwhelmed with discouragement. But I can spend time with Him in prayer every day. I can welcome those into my home that He brings to my door. I can spend a percentage of the time and money He has entrusted to me on people less fortunate than myself. I can order my life according to Christ's will rather than the judgment of other people. As I do so, I remember that He is the Judge, not them, so His desires for me are the ones that truly matter. I will disappoint many people along the way: those who believe I should give more to foreign missionaries, for example, or who have spent their lives in outreach to one marginal group or another and believe that I should do the same. But when I come back again to Christ and ask what He desires for me, my particular mission is different from theirs. He has a lot of work He asks of me but it's His work, not someone else's. And so in the end I need to remember: Christ is the Judge; only His desires for me will matter in the end; the expectations of myself and others will burn like chaff (Mt 3:12) and become irrelevant.

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