Updated: Jul 6
I gave my heart to God when I was 5 years old. I gave my will to God when I was 45.
It was a 40-year struggle!
I didn’t know.
I thought practicing my will, especially when I was in the right, was ok. “Digging my heels into the ground” over things that were “right” seemed, in some ways, noble.
Surely defending what was right wasn’t wrong. It may even warrant applause.
But, here’s the thing, even though it was right, it was wrong.
If someone did something wrong, I had every right to, one: show them they were in the wrong and two: practice my right to be right and correct their wrong.
Very typical example:
I’m in a Tim Horton’s drive-through. I order my daily large tea, one bag in with two milk and of course, use my manners. The person taking my order forgets their manners. I get to the window to pick up my order, again using my manners and again, they still have forgotten theirs. They offer no friendly engagement and no eye contact. I ask them if I have offended them. They respond awkwardly saying “no” with a weak smile trying to redeem themselves. Did I really want to know if I had offended them? No. I wanted to practice my right to be right and bring it to their attention that they were being rude. After all, I don’t deserve that, I was polite and friendly. I did what was right, I deserve to receive what was right.
I am in the right but I am in the wrong.
Although I socially behaved in an acceptable manner and yes it would have been nice to receive a similar engagement back, I was in the wrong. I was measuring right vs wrong and thinking I came out the winner because of some social etiquette rule. What did matter was who was measuring right versus wrong (God) and what was truly being measured (Shining His Light not showing my right)
When I surrendered my will I gave space for the Holy Spirit to show me things through a new lens. Things like “What if that person just found out their mom has cancer?” or “What if their boss just reamed them out and they are barely hanging on by a thread?”... and then I come along, “Have I offended you?” because they forgot their “please and thank yous” centring out their shortcomings.
[shameful eye roll]
When I started asking myself “What would Jesus do?” my response changed drastically. A gentle smile replaced a disappointed sneer. A silent prayer replaced judgmental chatter.
My life changed when I gave God my will. He could begin the process of changing my sinful human nature to a Christ-like nature. I began to reflect the Christ-like Michelle He intended me to be and less like the sinful, self-serving Michelle I had been.
Some people get this right off the bat. They give their hearts to God and surrender their will at the same time... I was a slow learner but Praise God, now I know! Now my person is blossoming. Now I am living in God’s favour. Now God can do work through me in a way He couldn’t before.
My friends, can I encourage you today? If you are holding onto your strong will, practicing your right to be right (and honestly, "right" in whose eyes?), give it up Living a life allowing Christ’s nature to prevail is far better than being “right”. You will experience a life you could have never imagined; a life in Christ. God will reveal Himself in a way you cannot see through the lens of your own will.
“put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24
© 2023 Michelle Rogers