Every year, Christen and I have a little tradition around Christmas.
We go to the local gas station and buy ourselves scratch lottery tickets. We buy one ticket at a time, alternating between ourselves anticipating our BIG win. We scratch, we wait. We scratch, we wait; and then, 10 minutes later we do the losers-waltz right out of the gas station shrugging our shoulders and wondering why we continue this silly tradition.
Honestly, the whole thing takes about 15 minutes because scratching a lottery ticket takes only a few seconds before you get the answer. What you can't see is covered by a very thin film that easily rubs away when you apply the slightest amount of pressure by any coin you pull out of your Levi's.
Many people's lives are like this. Scratch the surface, and you will see their true priorities.
Martin Luther, the great reformer, said, "Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God."
So let me ask you a question: What is your heart clinging to these days?
I've heard it said that "time & money" are the true indicators of what defines you as a person.
Think about this for one moment:
-What does your calendar look like?
-What is your checkbook filled with?
Be honest. Reflect where you spend most of your time. Look at your last couple of weeks. Do you see a pattern? Now go further; delve into the last couple of months. Where are you spending the majority of your time? OK. Now grab your bank statement(s). Where is your money going? Clothes, frappes, movies, up-doos, manicures, adventurous trips ... Jeesh. Guess what? If that list reflects your reality, then your worshiping an idol. And if you are confused about what idol I am making reference to, just stop reading this, stand up and go to the mirror. ---BINGO.
Time for a Truth Atomic Bomb: bank statements and daily planners do not lie, so neither should you. Self-delusion is never a good idea; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. I know herds of people that aspire to this or give lip service to that, but a simple glance at their priorities nullify even their greatest of speeches. Margaret Thatcher wisely stated, "No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions." Here is what I can say with certainty; each person's heart wages a war for kingship. Meaning, what we owe God and what we give Him are oftentimes standing in direct contrast. And not to sound like the proverbial broken record, one of the great litmus tests that reveal what we pay homage to is how we spend our money and what we do with our time. My friend and colleague, Nick Cerda once told me that he has no problem giving to the church because he has no problem giving to the things that he loves. Said another way, if something really grabs your heart you cannot help but give that something priority in your life.
Dear friends, my intentions for writing this is not to beat you down or make you feel ugly inside. Rather, it is to set you free ... I know so many people that have a deep desire to be used for God but just cannot figure out how to or why they continually fall short. By being cognizant of where you spend your time and money you are taking the first steps in re-prioritizing your life; you are scratching below the surface.