Does Anyone Thank God for You?

I’m sure you’ve noticed that at funerals the deceased was only good things like loving, funny, generous, caring, always been there for everyone, and so on. Prior to their death, however, I wonder how many times they were told these things. And because I’m narcisistic, I wonder how many people think these things of me. Now, I mean, before I die.

Then I come across passages like Philemon 1:4-7, where Paul is thanking God for three fellow Christians and I wonder if anyone thanks God for me. Have you ever wondered that yourself?

Does anyone thank God for you?

Here’s the deal: I think you gotta have a lot going for you to have someone thank God for you. First, you got to have a friend who is actually a good enough Christian to actually think about praying for someone other than themselves (and the new car they want, and so on.) Next, you got to live a life where your friend just can’t stop themselves – they just have to thank God for you.

Assuming you have such a friend, have you considered whether or not you live a life where people actually want to thank God for you? I am tonight and I’m pretty sure I don’t like the answer.

I know my wife sometimes thanks God for me. Without me, who would teach her longsuffering and patience? I also get to count my kids as a “yes” too since I’m their boss and I can totally boss them to thank God for me. Friends and people I know, though? I’m much less sure.

Here is what Paul said,

I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and faith toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints. I pray that your participation in the faith may become effective through knowing every good thing that is in us for the glory of Christ. For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

So to be worthy of thanking God for, according to Paul, you need to answer yes to the following questions:

  • Am I known for my love and faith for Jesus and love for all the saints?
  • Does my love for everyone cause joy and encouragement among the people I hang with?
  • Do my actions refresh the hearts of the saints like a ice cold Coke on a summer day?

For me? Not exactly. To be way too transparent for comfort, I’m probably best known for:

  • My love of sarcasm and poking fun at people I know.
  • My laissez-faire attitude toward authority.
  • My salty personality that drives young women to weeping and old men to gnashing of teeth.

Yeah, I can totally suck sometimes much of the time. But the thing is I really, really want to be someone who people thank God for. But clearly, I just don’t want to work for it.

So we have two choices: 1) I can try harder to actually follow Christ (like the name Christian implies), or 2) I can talk all of you in to pretending that I’m like Philemon, Apphia and Archippus and to thank God for me even though I don’t deserve it.

History tells me that I’m extremely unlikely to go with option 1 so that leaves option 2. What do you say?

Photo by Deviant Artist hfootball.

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One thought on “Does Anyone Thank God for You?

  1. So, here we are. You, having been in the Word, reflecting on its image you see and pondering your place in Christ, in life. Reading your blog, it is obvious this has had an impact on you and having kept up with some of your recent blogs, FB posts and twitters…i have noticed a definite growth direction in your OVERALL life, physically and spiritually.

    I, for one, would have to say that when I think of Scott, I have many thoughts. And I like and am happy for you in what I am seeing. You are correct in your honest observations of yourself. Funny thing is, if I am totally honest with myself, I possess those self same qualities. And I remember being a few years younger than you having them manifested in a MUCH larger way in my life than they expose themselves now. It would be VERY easy for me to walk in those traits in largesse if I didn’t work so hard to keep them in check. I am by NO means walking in perfection in those areas, but I have learned (the HARD way) to allow the Holy Spirit to help me to control them to a large degree, sadly at the expense of some precious people over the years.

    For me, there was a ‘moment in time’ back in July, after a blog about the SWAC Factor, and a discussion that took place thereafter regarding that same blog, that I was corrected by the Holy Spirit in my thoughts concerning you and your wit and sarcasm. Basically the Holy Spirit held up a mirror of my life as a young christian and told me to be careful picking up those stones. I then began to pray for you, and for me concerning these issues. My prayer is that for our sarcasm and curt answers we would walk with compassion and gentleness toward others. For me personally with regard to those in authority over me, that I would walk in submission and servanthood under them, with a willing and Christlike attitude.

    In the weeks and months since, I have seen a genuine shift in attitude from your blogs, posts and service at Springhouse. Serving the least of these in the pre-school class and sensing a true desire for growth in your life. For some it may not be as noticeable, for others it may be VERY obvious. But for the One whom it matters most, our Lord, it must bring a smile to His face as you pursue Him and His nature.

    We ALL are in differing degrees of growth, some of us repeat the same level over and again until the lesson is learned. Romans 15 1,2 says : 1 We who have strong faith should help those who are weak. We should not live to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should live to please his neighbor. This will help him grow in faith. (New Life Version) That being said, I DO thank God for you when I think of you. Not only for who you are now, but also for who you are becoming IN CHRIST.

    Be encouraged in your journey and pursue His nature passionately and continue to read, meditate and study His Word that it might take root in your heart to continue to bring about that Godly transformation you are desiring. THIS is my prayer for you young brother…Philippians 1:9-11 9 And this is my prayer: I pray that your love will grow more and more. I pray that you will have better understanding and be wise in all things. 10 I pray that you will know what is the very best. I pray that you will be true and without blame until the day Christ comes again. 11 And I pray that you will be filled with the fruits of right living. These come from Jesus Christ, with honor and thanks to God. (New Life Version)

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