Last night as our church group sat around talking and eating, the debate of waffle fries or McDonald’s fries came up. During the debate, it came up that I love McDonald’s fries so much that I won’t even share one with my wife. If she wants just one, I’ll go buy her a bag of fries rather than give her one of mine. Someone told me that if I loved her like Christ loved the Church, I would give her one. I jokingly said back, “I don’t know if He loved the Church that much!”
The truth is that He loves the Church infinitely more than that and he has called us to love our wives that much. Is there something you hold back from your spouse? It could be something silly like a French fry or it could be a compliment, a thank you or the words I love you. Beyond that, what is it you withhold from God?
Here are something’s that I’ve found I withhold from Him sometimes.
1. My time
There are 1440 minutes in each day. If I were to tithe on my time, I should give Him 144 minutes each day. That’s 2 hours and 24 minutes each day to put it into perspective. When you think of all he has given to us, 10% is not much. Time is something that is very valuable to all of us. We only have so much of it and it seems everyone wants some of it.
I was reading yesterday in Genesis about the death of Abraham’s wife Sarah. He needed a place to bury her and someone offered a field with a cave in it for free. He wouldn’t take it because he wanted to give his wife something that was valuable and cost him something. If time is your most valuable asset, God will honor you for giving more of it to him.
2. My problems
I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes I don’t want to bother God with what is bothering me. He has enough on His plate with everything going on in the world without having to worry or spend time helping me with my problems. Sure, I go to him with the big things, but I try to handle the little things on my own. I heard someone say this week that they only take God their big problems and someone responded, “With God, there are no “big” problems.”
God never intended us to carry the load ourselves. He told us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. We don’t have to shoulder the burden ourselves. He wants to help, but we keep Him from it and wear ourselves out. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus told all who were weary and had heavy burdens to come to Him and take his burdens because they were light.
3. My gratitude
When I look back at my life and think of all the things I have prayed for, I can see that more were answered than not. I also see that once it has been answered, I rarely go back to say “thank you”. It’s not that I’m ungrateful. It’s that a new problem has come up and I’ve started asking for it. I think it’s important to keep a prayer journal where you write down all your requests of God. When you go back in a month, year or decade and see what your problems were and how God answered them, you’ll be grateful and amazed.
I wrote recently about being thankful here. Being thankful and showing gratitude changes your perspective and builds your faith. When you see all the little things that God has done for you, it’s easy to trust Him with the big things. Everyone likes to be appreciated for things they do. We were made in God’s image. I think He likes to be thanked every now and then too.
Have you found that these are some areas that you withhold from God too? Maybe you haven’t withheld all of them or you’ve withheld other things that are important to you. God loves you so much that the Bible says he will not withhold any good thing from you. In fact, He has proven it by sending His son to die for our sins. Even when we are ungrateful for that at times, He still gives us good things. We can make that change today. We can choose to quit withholding things from Him now. What are you going to quit withholding?