What if I was to tell you that there is a fairly simple answer to problems in your marriage, family, job, church, and even our country? Would you believe me? I don’t even know if I believe that entire statement. The word I would change is the word “simple.” That is because anytime there are problems in our lives, seldom is the answer to the problem simple to fix. However, there is something that can help us learn to better navigate through problems in marriage, family, church, and our country. I would love to take credit for this, but I can’t. The credit for this one goes to a pastor who I am blessed to call a friend. The answer is the title of this blog, S.T.A.Y. You probably have noticed that the word “stay” is going to be used as an acronym. S.T.A.Y. stands for, Stop Thinking About Yourself. That’s it, that’s the answer to navigating and working through many the problems we face. It is just that simple, yet also that complicated.
How do we know that is the answer? We know it is because most of the problems we face we want to play the victim and blame others. We often convince ourselves that if people would do things our way, then everything would work out just fine. We convince ourselves that everyone else injures us, and we seldom see how we have injured others. Those things come natural, because they are rooted in our sin nature. They are physical manifestations of our pride. However, if I choose to not see myself as a victim and I choose not to blame others; rather, I do some introspection and ask, what is my role in this, things can be changed for the better. How do we know this? We know it from what Scripture says in Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in your, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made i the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” There are three words in this passage that are important. They are the words: humble, servant, and obedient. So let’s ask the question that we ask towards the end of every sermon at WBC. How do we do this? So what?
How Can We S.T.A.Y:
- It is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we are going to have the mind of Christ, then we must belong to Christ. As a child of God, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell us for the purposes of conviction, teaching, and helping us walk with Christ. Blaming others and playing the victim are evidence of our sin nature. Choosing to put others first is a work of God.
- We must be humble. Humility is choosing to put others first. It is intentionally putting their needs, wants, and wishes ahead of yours.
- We must see ourself as a servant. Scripture is full of verses and passages that remind us that we are stewards or managers, not owners. James 1:17 tells us that “every good gift and perfect gift comes from above.” Jesus, God Himself as we see in Philippians 2 and many other passages, the One who deserves to be served said in Mark 10:45, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” If Jesus, while in human form, saw Himself as a servant, how much more should we see ourselves as a servant? Instead of asking, how can this help me or how can others help me accomplish what I want; we need to ask, how can I serve you?
- We must be obedient. This is where the rubber meets the road. It is one thing to know what to do, it is another thing entirely to actually do it. Yet James 1:22 tells us, “Be doers of the world, not hearers only deceiving ourselves.” Too often we become spiritually constipated, that is we listen to preaching, we read Scripture, but then it just stays in our minds. It never affects how we live. And satan convinces us that we have somehow worshipped and we are doing what God wants us to when all we do is passively listen or agree with Scripture. Yet Scripture tells us that blessings from God come when we read it, heed it, and do it.
Let’s be honest, this isn’t easy. It hasn’t been easy and it won’t be easy. But if we want to see God move in our hearts, heal our marriages, strengthen our families, strengthen and use our churches, and change our country; this is what we must do. So the word for today and the next time we feel hurt, used, or neglected, choose instead to S.T.A.Y. Love God, love others, and serve everyone for the glory of God!