Posted by: everynation | September 11, 2008

Live to Impact: Timing is Everything

by Ron Miller

As I have matured in my relationship with my wife Cindy, I have become more sensitive and aware of how her emotional state throughout the day. After a long day keeping up with three little boys and rushing to get dinner on the table, I have learned that this is not the best time of the day to ask her to do something for me. Instead, it is an opportune time to ask her if I can serve her in any capacity.

In fact, experts in marriage have written books revealing that sexual intimacy with your wife begins in the kitchen. As husbands serve their wives in this stressful time of the day, it draws their hearts closer to their spouses.

Timing is everything.

On the other hand, my callow boys who lack discernment do not have the capacity to recognize this hectic moment of the day. They have no sense of timing. They will constantly bombard their busy mother with requests until they are rebuked for being so dim-sighted. In their immaturity, all they can see and think about is their own needs or selfish desires.

In the rest of this blog, I want to focus on two people who matured as leaders and made a big impact on their world. They are two of Christ’s disciples and their names are James and John, the sons of Zebedee. James and John, along with Peter, formed Jesus’ most innermost circle of associates. James would so embody the message of Christ that he became the first of the twelve disciples to be martyred.

Five books in the New Testament have been attributed to John the Apostle: the Gospel, three epistles, and Revelation. John would so embody the message of Christ that he became known as the “Beloved Disciple”. In 1 John 3:16 he writes, “16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Both of these men sacrificed tremendously and lived to serve others for Jesus. Their examples of faith are a great reminder and a source of inspiration of how we are supposed to live as followers of Christ. However, their lives were not always a model of service to be emulated.

Let’s take a deeper look in Mark 10:32-45.

32Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33″We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36″What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

Can you believe the timing of their request?

As Jesus took the twelve aside and told them what kind of death he was going to suffer in order to save people from their sins, I am astounded by the response of James and John. A sympathetic thought or comment extended to Jesus would have been nice.

Instead, James and John did not display empathy or emotional intelligence. Their self absorbed myopia robbed them of making an intimate connection with the Lord. It also exposed the motive of their heart. Up to this point, they were following Jesus for a privileged place in his administration. They were seeking position and power. James and John were clueless about the real reason Christ had called them to follow Him.

When God discloses information to us, it is so that we might become more engaged with Him and His will, not so He might become more engaged with us and our will.

Can you think of a moment in your life, when you missed the opportunity to impact someone else, because you were only thinking of your own interests?

Ron Miller, Jr. is a gym rat who blogs regularly at Gym Chats. He is a husband, father, artist and musician stuck in an athletic body, and the senior pastor of Every Nation, Tallahassee.

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