What you seek the most, you care about the most
"What we seek the most, we care about the most"
I heard this quote in a sermon early this year, and it’s been echoing in my ear every week. It’s like all of a sudden, the lights were turned on and I looked around at my life, my calendar, and my to do list. Why was I so busy? What was I so busy doing? What was I working so hard on?
For me, this has been a great undoing. Mainly because through this quote, God pushed on my motivations. It came in three waves, and I was shocked with each one.
1. Reflection: What am I doing? Why am I doing it?
When I heard this quote, “What we seek the most, we care about the most” I immediately thought about how humble I was (ironic, isn’t it?) Almost everything on my list of what I was doing was about other people. Helping my husband, caring for our family, leading others in small groups, volunteering with nonprofits, meeting with friends who were hurting. I felt like the ultimate example of someone who was seeking the right thing- serving others!
But when I made the list of everything that I did, I re read the quote and realized I had it wrong. It didn’t say “What you do the most, you care about the most”. It was what you SEEK the most. Next to each thing on my to do list, I stated to ask WHY am I doing these things? What am I looking for? What am I hoping happens?
2. Realization: Who I am consumes me.
With that challenge came a painful realization. I want to make sure my life was meaningful. I wanted to do something that made people go “Wow. Hannah really loves God.” I wanted to show everyone that I wasn’t wasting one minute- my schedule was full and I was busy for the kingdom! At the end of the day, I wanted others approval. I was consumed by who I am and what I did. About how people talked about me. It had an awesome spiritual flavor to it, but it was still pride. At the end of the day, it was still about me. About my life. The Hannah show.
3. Response: God, what would you have me do?
This realization sounds easy, but it was painful. I’ve shared pieces on the radio of the “cost” of this realization. That God had me step down from all the stages I was on. From ministry. From good work. From sharing on Instagram. Because when I understood that the overwhelming sin of pride had caused me to be seeking ME the most, I was devasted.
This has been an ongoing lesson, but the biggest change and response has been now seeking God and to be faithful. Not what other people see. Not even what I see.
I would say my “filter” of what I said yes to before was 1) Is it talking about God 2) Is it fun 3) Am I good at it. If those were yes, I said yes! It made me “seek” things about me, even if they were spiritual. I just assumed if it was focused on Jesus, it couldn’t be bad. Right?
Now, my filter is 100% “Does God want me to do this?”. I say no to a lot of things I would have said yes to. I’m seeking less of what I want and more of what God wants. I heard people say this 1,000 times and I always rolled my eyes at it. But suddenly, the lights have come on. I get it.
Read John 5:44. The word “glory” in this verse can be translated to approval and discernment. How can you believe in Jesus when you’re so busy seeking approval, opinions, and discernment from people instead of God?
Next steps for you, friend:
Ask yourself some questions:
o What am I doing? What takes up my time?
o What do I think about? What do I dream about and plan for?
o What feels like it consumes your life?
o WHY do you do those things? What are you seeking? What’s your goal?
Ask God some questions:
o Are any of these wrong? Are they sinful?
o What would it mean to seek you first? How do I do that with a job, family, responsibilities, bills, and free time.
o Show me how to enjoy spending time seeking you. This isn’t a simple fix. This isn’t a quick change. This is a new daily pursuit that will change everything.