Conflict of Interest
One of the great perks of being a parent is that you get to watch children’s’ movies, with no social judgment. Not only do you get to watch the current ones, you get to re-watch the ones you might have seen when you were a kid. I know I watched “The Jungle Book” when I was a kid, most likely on “The Wonderful World of Disney” as I have no idea where the closest movie theater might have been. Anyway… I don’t remember it being particularly funny as a kid, but there are lines in that movie that as an adult, I find a riot! One of those lines is a dialog between the buzzards as they hang out on branch. It goes like this:
Buzzie: Hey, Flaps, So what are we gonna do?
Flaps: I dunno. What’cha wanna do?
And on and on it goes… It is perhaps only funny, because; as an adult I can’t think of the times when there wasn’t anything on our schedule and my wife has turned and said to me “So David, what’cha wanna do? And I say I dunno. What’cha wanna do? And on and on it would go!
Today we continued the look at the “your will be done” phrase in the Lord’s Prayer. I have found often that it isn’t that we don’t know what God’s will is, it is just usually, we have other ideas. These ideas are not on the surface evil, or even bad, but they are not always God’s will. I mean, how many times have you turned to God in prayer and said, “What’cha wanna do?” Well…
Technically every time we say the Lord’s Prayer that is what we are doing, but do we really mean the words we are saying? Our devotions say we should take a look at Paul’s words in Philippians 2:4-7.
Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was* in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
If God’s will is that we empty ourselves and serve others, to have the same mind as Christ Jesus we may hit re-dial and ask “um… are you sure that’s what you want us to do?” In this world of “look out for Number 1,” and “you deserve a break today,” we are called to care for the other. Every Christian, from the smallest to the tallest, pastors, plumbers, homemakers, the whole lot of us are all in this together.
It seems like a pretty big conflict of interest. Our will vs. God’s will. God’s will seems to be a pretty big challenge, it can seem so much easier to go with our own will and hope that God doesn’t mind too much. But Jesus doesn’t teach us to pray “your will be done, if it isn’t too much of a bother for me.”
The good news is that six verses later Paul writes “It is God, who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure”
Wow! God is at work in us! That is news we all need to hear. We are not doing this on our own, it is not just a human thing, it is a God thing, and that is why we can pray with confidence “your will be done.”