Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Not My Will, But Thine

I don't have any rights. "WHAT?" you might ask. We just celebrated Independence Day because we appreciate the rights given to us as American citizens. I do have American rights, but as a Christian, I have learned to surrender my ownership of any rights in exchange for an opportunity to serve Christ. This is difficult for me to do, to be honest. I'm a debater, and I can win a verbal war with my jaws wired shut! I take great joy in using facts and research to prove a point.

BUT — is that what God wants? Just in the last couple of weeks, God told me in several situations to defer to the rights of the other person. At a writer's seminar, God led me to seek out the needs of others and help them. He led me to assure the fearful hearts of other writers. I assisted beginning writers with basic definitions so they could understand the keynote speaker's terminology. I matched up writers with markets, and with other like-minded writers. Serving others and not putting my own rights first was actually rewarding in and of itself, but there's more.

God blessed me by allowing me to sit by the keynote speaker as a door prize at the seminar. Instead of telling her about my writing career, I asked how she was feeling after speaking so much in one day. She thanked me for recognizing her needs. Evidently, most writers, when they get her undivided attention, just want a piece of her. I have an open door with her in the future because I showed concern.

When I got home, I was challenged to make a painful business decision. I could either fight for my rights, or set my rights aside and yield to the other person, even though she was in the wrong. I ignored the debater in me, and decided instead to follow the example of Jesus and turn the other cheek in this situation. God is already blessing because of this business decision.

Sometimes we must choose to do right by ignoring our rights and seeking God's example and leadership in situations. We end up getting when we give. It's an unfamiliar phenomenon in today's society, but it still holds true.

I'm not using myself as a goody-two-shoes example. I'm not perfect, and I struggle with doing what is right every day. But this is one time, when I listened to that gut feeling that God was directing me, and I was blessed because of it.

We just celebrated our rights as an American, but as a Christian, we yield those rights to better serve our God. His agenda is more important than our own agendas. I'm learning how to yield when I want it to be my way or the highway.

"Not my will, but thine be done."

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