Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is It Any of Our Business?

I am a very relational creature by nature. I love to talk. I want to know and be known. I do this primarily through sharing my business with other people, and wanting to know what's going on with them. Sometimes, I get into trouble when I attempt to know everybody's business. It is not appropriate for me to know everyone's business. When I try to get in the middle of business that isn't any of my business, I usually fall into sins like gossip. "Business" is a delicate thing, and can in many ways be so private and personal, it is only to be shared with select individuals. For this reason, I am very private about whom I share my business with. I don't share my business with just anybody. You have to be a close, trusted friend for me to share my business with you.

A few years ago, someone recommended I read a book called The Five Love Languages. For those of you unfamiliar with this title, the book basically describes five ways in which people give and receive love. They are 1) Gifts, 2) Words of Affirmation, 3) Acts of Service, 4) Quality Time, and 5)Physical Touch. I was intrigued as I read through this book. As it turns out, my primary love language is Quality Time. But for me, "QT" is not about just being in my presence. Going to a movie where we don't talk to one another is not my idea of quality time. No, quality time for me would actually involve some type of interaction, particularly it would require a willingness on my part to share my personal business with you. No wonder I am so particular about my privacy! It is the primary means by which I achieve intimacy and transparency with others.

I tried to think of all the ways in which I could show The Lord how much I love Him using all five love languages. For example, I could offer tithes and other offerings as gifts. I can offer up praises as words of affirmation. Serving others would obviously fulfill the acts of service. Offering a hug to someone who is hurting would be an expression of physical touch. And spending time in the Word and in prayer would be a good way to spend quality time with God.

I then did the reverse and tried to think of all the ways in which God demonstrates His love for us using all five love languages. For example, each of our blessings are gifts from The Lord. There are many examples in the Bible where He offers us words of affirmation, by assuring us that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that our sins are forgiven. We see His love for us through others who offer us acts of service or physical touch in the form of a hug. But I was stumped when it came to quality time. How does God offer us quality time?

This bothered me quite a bit, especially since quality time happens to be my primary love language. Naturally, God is always with us. But when I'm sleeping, and He's there, is that really an example of quality time?

I finished the book, my question still unanswered. Then about two days later, I needed to reference a verse in John over an unrelated issue. The only Bible version I had handy at the time was an NIV. Imagine my shock when I read the following passage, worded exactly as follows in the NIV:
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15, emphasis mine)

Incredible -- The Lord Himself considers me to be an intimate friend, and has chosen to share His business with me!Incredible -- The Lord Himself considers me to be an intimate friend, and has chosen to share His business with me! Immediately I began to cry as the depth of this realization set in. He has called me friend, why? Because He has made His business known to me! Just as I am selective about whom I share my business with, He is the same way, choosing only to reveal the secrets of the universe to those He has called friends. We know His plans for the future, that He goes to prepare a place for us, and that He is coming back soon. We know His likes and dislikes. We know when He is pleased and when He is grieved. We know His will! The Almighty Maker of the entire universe has chosen to share His business with us! Isn't that amazing?

So many times we enter times of prayer and tell God everything in our hearts, but rarely do we ever stop to listen to Him share what's in His. We then walk away from our quiet times disappointed, wondering why we don't ever hear an answer from God. Could it be that we don't truly believe that what He has planned for us is any of our business? After all, He is God. Who are we, that we should ask Him to reveal Himself to us? Is it any of our business? Why yes, according to John 15:15, it is!

There is no Friend more powerful and influential than Jesus. Think about that the next time you are trying to impress someone of high status who has perhaps snubbed your offer to get close. When you are confused about which direction to take next, or when times are lonely, turn to Christ, be still, and listen. He is waiting to share His business with you!

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