Continued from here.
Another aspect of making God your #1 priority is focusing on Him rather than yourself, which is another sign of someone who is spiritually mature.
What is your least favorite type of music? Let’s say your pastor announces that next Sunday’s service will feature a musical guest performing that type of music. A spiritually mature person would joyfully attend the service, grateful for all the wonderful ways that God has blessed him or her. Spiritual children would sleep in that Sunday because they don’t want to hear that type of music, even when it is offered to glorify God. Where do you fall on the continuum?
Spiritual children complain about the aspects of a church service they don’t like: the sermon was too long, they didn’t like the song selection, the church has communion too often (or not often enough), etc. They behave like consumers, expecting the service to cater to their desires and preferences. In contrast, spiritually mature people don’t look for the church service to adapt to their own preferences but, instead, ask what they can bring for God. They look for ways to honor God and express gratitude for being able to spend quality time with God and their church family, even when the music, preaching, etc. may not be their personal preference. The underlying difference is that spiritually mature people view the church service as an offering to God, not to themselves.
I had the joy of attending Easter mass outside of Venice, Italy in 2016. I don’t speak Italian, so I did not understand one word that was said. I am not Catholic, so I was excluded from taking communion. And because I am not Catholic and don’t speak Italian, I had a hard time tracking what was going on when throughout the service. Nevertheless, attending Easter mass in Italy was well worth my time, not because I got much out of it but because I had the experience of prioritizing and worshiping God, which was the value of the experience. In fact, everyone who attended with me seemed to get something out of the experience and was grateful we went. Nothing in that experience was about myself – it was all about God.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace reading a book under the words, “Me time.” Courtesy Bitmoji]