Whoa. Here we go, trusting God again!
For so many of us, our identity is wrapped up in outcomes. If we did a good job, we get a good review, or a raise. If everything in our day went smoothly, we are in God’s favor. If we trouble shoot a problem and it works, we are a success.
But what happens when the outcome isn’t positive. When you heart is the right place, but your words are received wrong. When you did a good job, but the credit goes elsewhere. When you invest, and the outcome just doesn’t seem to produce results. How do we handle that?
Outcomes are tricky things. We can’t control them. We don’t get guarantees on effort. The runner in a race may do his best, but that does not secure that he will get 1st place. We are such fickle people. Our emotions are subject to this. They are prone to be high with the success of one day’s events and down in the dumps when trouble comes – a good day verses a bad day. We can feel hesitation, stagnation or even retreat with our gifts on bad days. This is why our hope cannot rest in our circumstance, on any level! Our hope must rest in God and God alone.
I think this issue hits home most for me in parenting. I have always known that the outcome of parenting does not rest solely on parents or parenting techniques. But our culture is so built on formulas, that it is hard to separate the journey of our children from our own performance. When our children succeed, we get, “You raised your child well.” Or if our children morally fail, we often hear, “He needed discipline.” But there are so many facets that lead to the person. There are many influences outside our control. And there is personal choice. You and I need to get over the idea that we are responsible for how people receive our message. It is God’s to work out. We are only to be faithful.
Live like you have a role to play, but remember to take yourself out of the equation. Dear friend, use your words and trust God for the rest.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
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