Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Reflection - Do we reflect God's heart? - Obsession with numbers, efficiency, and Measurable success

Source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 9, Question 1, Page 125.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


In what way are we guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success in a Christian context?
PHOTO: In what way are we guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success in a Christian context?
Whenever we come across numbers in the Bible, we often try to figure out what they represent and to discern whether there is significance behind the numbers, or whether they are merely factual figures. Often, however, we miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - especially when He is depicted as counting.

We sometimes forget the ways of God: we brandish number about when we count participants at a conference or church service as a means to boost our egos and congratulate ourselves. Whether this desire which may be a healthy ambition, turn into an unhealthy obsession will depend on how strong the desire is.

Ambition is the desire and determination to achieve success. Ambition is when a person sets a goal and works towards it normally. People who have ambitions when they do not get the goal of a desire, they will try to get the goal in another way, or make another goal.

Obsession may start from greed which is the intense and selfish desire to achieve money, power, or status. If the desire has so dominated the mind uncontrollably, for no reason and chasing blindly with overflowing emotions means that the person already has an obsession. Obsession is a compulsive or irrational preoccupation. It is an unhealthy negative traits and should not be supported. Obsessed people, if they cannot reach the goal they set, the tendency for depression will be greater.

Christians guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success may consist of the following.
We measured in what we have accomplished and not in how much we have loved
No matter how big our church or ministry is, no matter how much we are respected, we should not miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - His compassion and love for every individual. We may be obsessed with worldly achievement until we forget being the image of God. If anybody was deserving, it was Jesus. He chose humility, sacrifice and death for those He loved. His heavenly Father too deserved our worship for His sacrificial love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). 1 John 3:16 emphasises again God's love, and teaches us how to love others. "This 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 and sisters."


How can we address this problem?
We need to be faithful to a life of sacrificial love and service, regardless of the “results.” Our legacy should not be a “striving” ambition just for intense and selfish desire, but an ambition to follow God to wherever He calls, whether to a public arena or a place of shadows where nobody will notice. "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2).

We need to pray to God for help. God doesn’t just use us for His work … His ongoing work is us. "May our legacy be measured not as much in what we have accomplished as in how much we have loved." That is our prayer. As in Psalm 124:8, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." We pray too for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also acts as comforter or Paraclete, one who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial. (1 John 2:1)
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In what way are we guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success in a Christian context? How can we address this problem?

In what way are we guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success in a Christian context?
How God counts [1]
We can find all sorts of numbers in the Bible. Some are symbolic and some are literal, while some are both symbolic and literal. [39] The "seven spirits of God" mentioned in Revelation (1:4; 3:1; 5:6), for instance, are symbolic, referring to the Holy Spirit in His perfection. The 153 fish caught by the disciples is an actual figure (John 21:11). The 40 days for which Jesus fasted before commencing His ministry (Matthew 4:2) - also the same period given to Nineveh to respond to God's message - is an actual number as well, but also a symbolic representation of how God's people are tested.



We can find all sorts of numbers in the Bible.
PHOTO: We can find all sorts of numbers in the Bible. Some are symbolic and some are literal, while some are both symbolic and literal. The 40 days for which Jesus fasted before commencing His ministry (Matthew 4:2) - also the same period given to Nineveh to respond to God's message - is an actual number as well, but also a symbolic representation of how God's people are tested.
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Whenever we come across such numbers in the Bible, we often try to figure out what they represent and to discern whether there is significance behind the numbers, or whether they are merely factual figures. Often, however, we miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - especially when He is depicted as counting.

We sometimes forget the ways of God: we brandish number about when we count participants at a conference or church service as a means to boost our egos and congratulate ourselves. Whether this desire which may be a healthy ambition, turn into an unhealthy obsession will depend on how strong the desire is.


Often we miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - especially when He is depicted as counting.
Often we miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - especially when He is depicted ascounting.
PHOTO: Often we miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - especially when He is depicted as counting. We sometimes forget the ways of God: we brandish number about when we count participants at a conference or church service as a means to boost our egos and congratulate ourselves.
Picture posted by Angel Number
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https://angelnumber.org/what-does-the-number-1-mean-in-the-bible/



Ambition is the desire and determination to achieve success. Ambition is when a person sets a goal and works towards it normally.
People who have ambitions when they do not get the goal of a desire, they will try to get the goal in another way, or make another goal. [2]

 

 Ambition is the desire and determination to achieve success.
PHOTO: Ambition is the desire and determination to achieve success. People who have ambitions when they do not get the goal of a desire, they will try to get the goal in another way, or make another goal.
Picture posted by Gregg Matte, iDisciple

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https://www.idisciple.org/post/4-ingredients-of-a-life-of-impact-ambition



Obsession may start from greed which is the intense and selfish desire to achieve money, power, or status. If the desire has so dominated the mind uncontrollably, for no reason and chasing blindly with overflowing emotions means that the person already has an obsession. Obsession is a compulsive or irrational preoccupation. It is an unhealthy negative traits and should not be supported. Obsessed people, if they cannot reach the goal they set, the tendency for depression will be greater. [2]


Obsession may start from greed which is the intense and selfish desire to achieve money, power, or status.
PHOTO: Obsession may start from greed which is the intense and selfish desire to achieve money, power, or status. If the desire has so dominated the mind uncontrollably, for no reason and chasing blindly with overflowing emotions means that the person already has an obsession.
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https://heladooscuro.net/2017/munecas-diabolicas.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2016/04/reflection-attitudes-motives-and-conduct.html
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/03/reflection-solution-to-worn-out-lives_26.html



Christians guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success may consist of the following.
We measured in what we have accomplished and not in how much we have loved [3]
No matter how big our church or ministry is, no matter how much we are respected, we should not miss out what the numbers say about the character of God - His compassion and love for every individual. We may be obsessed with worldly achievement until we forget being the image of God. If anybody was deserving, it was Jesus. He chose humility, sacrifice and death for those He loved. His heavenly Father too deserved our worship for His sacrificial love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16). 1 John 3:16 emphasises again God's love, and teaches us how to love others.  "This 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 and sisters." (1 John 3:16).



Christians are guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success because we measured in what we have accomplished and not in how much we have loved.
PHOTO: Christians are guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success because we measured in what we have accomplished and not in how much we have loved. Why love? The Bible said: "This 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 and sisters." (1 John 3:16).
Picture posted by Henry Makow@HenryMakow on 02 May 2018
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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DcPQHYdVQAIe4IW.jpg
https://twitter.com/henrymakow/status/991750317283905536



How can we address this problem? [3]
We need to be faithful to a life of sacrificial love and service, regardless of the results.” Our legacy should not be a “striving” ambition just for intense and selfish desire, but an ambition to follow God to wherever He calls, whether to a public arena or a place of shadows where nobody will notice. "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2).



We need to be faithful to a life of sacrificial love and service, regardless of the 'results.'
PHOTO: We need to be faithful to a life of sacrificial love and service, regardless of the “results.” Our legacy should not be a “striving” ambition just for intense and selfish desire, but an ambition to follow God to wherever He calls, whether to a public arena or a place of shadows where nobody will notice.
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We need to pray to God for help. God doesn’t just use us for His work … His ongoing work is us. "May our legacy be measured not as much in what we have accomplished as in how much we have loved." That is our prayer. As in Psalm 124:8, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." We pray too for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also acts as comforter or Paraclete, one who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial. (1 John 2:1)



We pray for The Holy Spirit, our Comforter or Paraclete, one who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial. (1 John 2:1).
PHOTO: We pray for The Holy Spirit, our Comforter or Paraclete, one who intercedes, or supports or acts as an advocate, particularly in times of trial. (1 John 2:1).
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Dear Lord, Please help us not to miss out what the numbers in the Bible say about the character of God.
Dear Lord, Please help us not to miss out what the numbers in the Bible say about the character of God.
PHOTO:Dear Lord, Please help us not to miss out what the numbers in the Bible say about the character of God. His compassion and loving character. We sometimes forget the ways of God: we brandish number about when we count participants at a conference or church service as a means to boost our egos and congratulate ourselves.

We are guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success, when we measured in what we have accomplished and not in how much we have loved. Please help us not to forget about God’s compassion and love for every individual, and that we are to be the image of God.

Please help us to be faithful to a life of sacrificial love and service, regardless of the “results.” May our legacy be measured not as much in what we have accomplished as in how much we have loved. We do not want to be guilty of an obsession with numbers, efficiency, and measurable success without having the love of God in us.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!

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Reflection - Do we reflect God's heart - Obsession  with numbers, efficiency, and Measurable success
Question from source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 9, Question 1, Page 125.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012





Also from the same author, Robert M. Solomon

"Faithful to the end", A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon<br>
Reflection - Faithful to the end (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html


"Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon

Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html

 


Reference
[1] From "God in Pursuit" Lessons from the Book of Jonah, Copyright © 2017 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-801-6, Part IV: Jonah 4:1-11, Chapter 9 "Do we reflect God's heart?", Page 121-122.

[2] kingcore09, Free Steem, Understanding Ambition and Obsession, posted on 11 February 2018, https://steemit.com/life/@kingcore09/understanding-ambition-and-obsession-d31b7c0c6a1bf

[3] Adrian Pei, Ambition, Fame and Our Obsession With Numbers, posted in 05 May 2013, https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/167145-adrian-pei-ambition-fame-and-our-obsession-with-numbers.html/3


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