Respect or Desire

I’ve been struggling with something as of late and that’s the question, “Do people change because they respect someone or something? How do we as individuals, or as a church for that matter, draw people who observe our lives as individuals or the life of our church?

Have you ever wondered about this with your kids? “How can I get them to do what I do?”  “Is it if I’m consistent and disciplined, showing them that I daily read my Bible,  pray,  exercise,  eat right and so on and so forth that they will choose God?”  “How can I ensure they follow after me –  or at least after my God?”

From what I can gather, it doesn’t come down to respecting what I do. Or for that matter how disciplined I am in what I do.  Have you ever left church or another person only to hear that they get up at 5:00 am to exercise, meet with God and whatever other craziness people take part in at that time of the morning?   Do we respect them? Totally!  In fact, I walk away feeling guilty for not being like that.  Maybe you’ve left church saying “I really need to get up and do that too, well…at least I should.”

So what then?  How do people begin to make real change because of me or because of my church?  I believe it’s when they desire what they see in me or another person.  When they say “I really like that person and desire to be more like them,” or your kids for that matter saying, “I like the way my mom or dad live their lives with God, and desire that for my own life.”  I believe when a person desires something they are drawn to it and when someone simply respects what someone does, it’s often guilt that drives them to change…And I think we’ve all experienced that and its effectiveness long term in our lives.  Do I think that my kids look at me and say “Wow, dad gets up early and doesn’t sleep in, he doesn’t eat chocolate cake, he eats food after he prays, and always takes his Bible to church, I want to be just like that?” No, I don’t think so.  So it can’t be simply a disciplined life that I live before them, or it doesn’t seem that attractive at all, does it.

So let me ask you – do the people around you, whether your children, the people you work with, or those your are wanting to influence for God, (which I hope is all of these) desire the life YOU live with God?  Do they leave your home, or for that matter, live in your home, and desire what you have?

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