Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's On Your Agenda?

These days, it seems just about everyone has an agenda.  I'm not talking about their "to do" list, though it has somewhat the same effect.  What I'm talking about is their goal:  "I'm doing this particular thing because I want that specific outcome."

We see this most predominantly in the political realm.  Each candidate has their own viewpoint, and has a plan to accomplish certain things.  Their hope is that enough voters have the same agenda and will support them.  Often, the word "agenda" has a negative connotation.  It really is important, though, to know what it is you're doing and why...and what you plan to achieve.

Recently, a couple of incidents occurred which made me stop and wonder what my agenda is?  

The first incident happened yesterday morning.  I attended a training/renewal session at our church.  One of the small group leaders asked us what we saw as our gifts, and to think about how we are using them, especially within our own families.  Two things came out of our discussion.  The first was that another woman in my discussion group said she saw a gift in me that helps others worship more fully.  It made me really stop and think:  why do I play piano and sing?  Is it for me, for God, to lead others to worship Him, to entertain...???  I hope and pray that my "agenda" is to honor God and lead others.

The other thing that came out of the discussion was my own ponderings, which I didn't share with anyone else at the time.  In the past few years, I feel I have become a more compassionate person.  When I see someone hurting, I often cry with them, pray with them, offer them words of comfort, and just about always give them a hug (depending on the situation, of course).  It made me stop and wonder, though:  how compassionate am I with my own family?  Am I too quick to give a sharp answer to my boys, or see their personal situations in a way that expresses a "just get over it" attitude?  I want them to know I love them, and truly care about what affects their lives.  Also, what am I teaching them when I'm driving?  When I speak harshly of another driver and the driver's actions, what am I teaching my kids?  I saw that I am teaching them a judgmental attitude.  That grieves me.

So that was the first incident.  The second incident occurred last night while I was checking Facebook.

Someone I have known for many, many years posted something similar to this:  "Don't tell me about your God unless you show it in how you love everyone."

You have to understand, first of all, that I am a person who takes things very personally.  So my first thought was:  she's talking about me.  And that's very possible.  It's also possible she had someone else in mind.

The point is this:  is that how people see me?  That I say I love God, but come across as harsh and judgmental--totally lacking in love?  Do the things I post on Facebook reveal the amazing grace and compassion God has shown to me, and that I want to share that same love and compassion with everyone?

In other words, in my life, what is my agenda?  Is it to show the love of Christ to each and every person, no matter what their political views, lifestyle, race, religion, etc.?  Now I do understand that if I feel strongly about something (and I do!), I may post something or express an opinion that offends someone who has an opposing view.  That's bound to happen.  But if I respond in a way that is nasty and rigid, rather than in a gentle, loving manner, I will definitely never accomplish helping someone see how much I truly love them, in spite of our opposing views.

I want my agenda to be the same as that of God:  to love the world so much that I would lay down my life for them, so that they would know this amazing, wonderful  God that I serve.

What's YOUR agenda?  Join me in determining that our agenda will be that of showing Jesus to the world.

"A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."  
Proverbs 16:9
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