Todays Verse/Thought: Do You Minister or Manipulate?
John 13:2-5 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.
Proverbs 16:2 All a persons ways seems pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.
What a picture! Our title today represents the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VULNERABILITY AND CONTROL. You all know people who tend to be control-freaks. Either they control others by shrewd or devious management for their own advantage, or they make every effort to control their own personal environment, to keep themselves feeling safe.
But JESUS FEARED NOTHING AND NO ONE. Because of this, He could be totally vulnerable. This is true liberation! Being able to serve others, rather than manipulate them.
Often in my On Target seminars, I make the claim that in life, you are always doing one of two things: either you are manipulating or you are ministering! Think about it. You can’t be doing both at the same time. One is self-serving, the other is others-serving.
The desire to make ourselves feel safe by controlling others and our environment is the world’s way of coping with fear. This is bondage! Even the Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) had it figured out when he said, . . . (good) deeds. . . are the greatest joy man can experience.
Evaluate your life. Look at the way you manage your daily activities. Do you find ways to minister to others at home, in your friendships, at work? Or, IS YOUR NATURAL TENDENCY TO MANIPULATE CIRCUMSTANCES toward your own best interest?
GO TO GOD. Ask Him to show you specific instances where you find yourself manipulating circumstances. Write down those situations. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU ARE FEARFUL OF IN EACH SITUATION. Ask God to take those fears from you and show you how to change your actions into service to others. Then, look for opportunities TODAY to take action on your actions!
Finally, do what I did some time ago. I wear a bracelet on my wrist that asks a simple question…What Is My Motive? I look at it often–before I say or do anything–it is a powerful reminder to check my motive. Am I about to manipulate or minister?
Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Ministry vs. Manipulation In Marriage