With or For?

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.

In a podcast last week, I heard several men evaluate the growth in their lives over the previous decade.  I haven’t been able to shake the conversation.  In addition to applying that same evaluation process over my last ten years, there were some ideas that I have been wrestling with, in particular.

One of the men contrasted the difference between doing things “for” God versus doing things “with” God.  That one simple concept has had me excavating many things in my life.  What I found is that there is a progression:

  1. Making decisions that I want and when I want… not outside of morality, but without much input or reflection of the Father’s desires.
  2. Doing things and not involving Him in the process, but considering Him after the fact and doing them in His name.
  3. Asking Him to join me in what I am doing or committing myself to… almost looking for a sanctification of the thing I am already doing.
  4. Asking Him what to do, as a first step, and then taking things into my own hands and running with them.
  5. Doing things with Him, at His bequest, and under His direction.  Walking with God.

I am surrounded by a collection of incredibly noble leaders who are accomplishing amazing things for the Kingdom.  I would love to believe that they are all operating firmly in that five spot above, but if my own life is any indication, they are likely living more of a three and four kind of existence.  Upon reflection, I was thankful to realize that I am living a lot less than I once did in the first two categories above, but there is still a lot of doing things “for” and not enough doing things “with” the Father.

A good friend of mine was wrestling with a huge business opportunity.  He was clearly invited into the situation by the Father, but like I often do, his good heart, entrepreneurial spirit, and strong business sense, had taken over from there.  He was mired in the final stages of an evaluation process that likely had huge consequences both financially and personally.

How often do we find ourselves here with no situational awareness of how it happened?

Looking at that evolutionary continuum above, it is clear that there are phases of spiritual maturity in decision making… like in all other things.  I would like to believe that I am no longer a child.  That I am becoming more of a man.  Sadly, my decision making processes tell me I still need to put away some of my childish ways.

As a leader of a family, partner in a business, and a coach to many others, I am humbled by the Father’s grace.  He patiently comes alongside to complement my “partial” and nudges me toward maturity.  I am a different man, leader, and father from ten years prior, but there is still a lot of work to do.  I am invigorated to see even greater growth over the next decade!

  • How mature is your decision making process?
  • Where are the areas where you need to put away your childish ways?
  • Can you clearly see the difference between doing things “for” God and doing things “with” Him?