So, I’m a young guy, in my twenties, living in America. Based off a study done in 2000, I am 1 of almost 20,ooo,ooo American men in their twenties. Though there are so many of us, there is at least one thing that we all have in common: we are all alive. At any given moment in America today, there are some 20,000,000 living young men in their twenties. And although, at such a moment in time, we are all alive; within this similarity, lie all the differences. And all the differences reveal themselves in how each American young man in his twenties, spends his aliveness. I suppose this is where all of this springs from.
Now, not just age breaks up the society in which you or I live. There are many inks of life that draw circles and group our mass into masses. Culture, location, interests, wealth, religion, etc. Everyone fits into multiple circles or different levels, and each circle learns and forms opinions of the other circles. One culture circle learns and forms opinions about a particular circle of interests and one circle of wealth learns and forms opinions about a circle of location. Oh the circles of life, how messy and confusing. However, that is not what I want to focus on, just laying the ground work. So here we go, branching off.
I happen to spend a lot of time in a circle of Christianity, that has, like every other circle, learned and formed opinions about this circle of American men in their twenties. Most in the young-American-male circle tend to spend their aliveness in a certain way, or at least, in a way that most other circles seem to agree defines the entire circle. And to our certain circle of Christianity, this typical spending of aliveness is viewed in a negative light. Therefore, when someone in that circle decides to spend their aliveness in a different fashion, the response from our Christian circle is positive, yea glorified.
Thus, here we are, and here I am. Well, me and a handful of my family and friends that happen to be so irregular. We stand, minorities, irregularities, a team of super-human mutants, if you will! Too much. But nevertheless, atypical. Instead of the common spending of aliveness for our young-American-male circle, we happily spend aliveness striving to love our God and telling the world about Him; and I, for one, have a blast doing so. And like I said, from another circle of ours, this mutated life is typically viewed in quite the positive light, and yes, even glorified. “Wow, that’s great!” “You don’t hear of many young men your age doing that with their lives!” “I wish my son were here so you could talk to him.”
It’s hard to keep nice things people say from getting to your head, you know? So, why not take the path of least resistance? Let the compliments flow and the head grow! And admittedly, I’ve allowed such to take place too often.
Then, an act of grace from my God. In my loving pursuit of Him, I come across 1 Corinthians 29:14-16 and here is an excerpt from my journalings:
“God deserves the glory for the things we do for Him. This chapter is about David and the people gathering materials for the temple. They gather a huge amount of materials and it was all because they were willing to give to God. David’s response to his own selfless actions, and the selfless actions of the people, is to give glory to God. He realizes that everything that they have given to God, already belonged to Him. God was the reason that they even had these things to give. I need to remember this. This really takes the glory out of selfless acts of service, love, etc. It takes the glory out of ministry. God is the reason that we even have anything to give. He is the provider and sustained of the means which we used to serve and worship Him. We have nothing of our own to give to God. It is all already His. So, surrendering my life, time, money, love, energy, etc. for His use is not as praise worthy as I make it seem. It is just common, natural. All of those things already belong to God. There is joy in using those things for Him. There is joy, but no glory.
I think Hebrews 4:12 meant to be written, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the eflating of even the biggest of heads.”
In spending my aliveness for Christ, I am entitled to so much joy. So much joy, but no glory.