Are You An Utilitarian?
In this society, there are many people who are good at using things to advance themselves. They are good at making use of the environment, the timing of events and the people around them to achieve their goals. Sometimes we call these people shrewd, some even consider them smart. Some even consider them as professionals. It becomes a skill to acquire. While it may be good to have a certain sense of shrewdness so that we can read the times well, we should learn to allow the Holy Spirit to prompt us and guide us. If not, we can actually fall into the trap of manipulation easily. We can be so confident that we depend more on our knowledge, experiences and techniques. We can end up always asking what we get in return and how worthwhile is our investment. We can get so consumed by our goals that we manipulate the conditions. We can end up twisting God’s arm or even tying up His arms. We may just be waiting to get something back from God in return.
Are we a utilitarian trying to make use of those things around us so that we get what we want? Don’t think we are so smart lest we commit the sin of witchcraft when we manipulate things and people. Don’t be too goal-orientated, so much so that we think that everything we do must accomplish our purpose. There is room for enjoyment and relaxation too. Don’t always think that we must get something in return. Jesus is the best example. He died for us without any conditions. In fact, He emptied Himself and humbled Himself so as to be an Instrument of God. In the same manner, we can give of ourselves like how Jesus gave His life for us. We need to learn to let go rather than always trying to control and manipulate things to accomplish our goals. Are we only willing to invest in things that can give us a profitable return? How about lives? When we invest in the kingdom of God, do we know that we may not see immediate return? Are we willing to invest in an area that is hard to evangelise or we are only interested in areas with the fastest growth rate? Are we keen to spend time to disciple someone who is weak and seemingly with no leadership potential or are we only interested in people who are promising? The utilitarian always need to get something in return in order for him to invest time, money and energy. But those who know God see the return in heaven, and continue to plough faithfully because the Lord calls them to the work. If God calls us to a ministry that is tough, stick to it faithfully, even if we do not see the immediate result. Do not just merely measure the work of God as the world sees it. When God calls us to a work, there will be a purpose in it.