How’d I Do Today?
We ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1
There was a time, during my active addiction, that my thoughts were consumed with getting, using, and hiding my pills. When I laid my head down at night, I could think of little else. My mind was continually focused on getting what Scott wanted. Initially, I pursued pleasure, but this eventually turned to misery. I was living in a manner that was completely inconsistent with what I believed to be right, and so, I lived in constant conflict with myself. My life of pursuing my appetite turned into a life of hating myself for being controlled by the very thing I once thought I desired.
Now, in recovery, I’ve learned about taking a daily inventory. When I lay my head down at night, instead of thinking about my appetite, I’m to be honest with myself about how my day went. Instead of asking, Did I get what I wanted today? How can I get what I want tomorrow? I’m supposed to ask, Did I live today in such a way that pleased God? Where I once lived following my will, I’m now meant to live following God’s will.
In today’s passage, Paul told his audience that he prayed for them to walk in such a way that pleased God. Once, the Thessalonians had lived for themselves, but as followers of Christ, their lives took on new meaning and purpose. Now, they were supposed to daily live in such a way that pursued God’s will instead of their own.
For many of us, this is either a foreign concept or simply a theoretical one. We just don’t naturally make life choices this way. When we come to our daily decision making, we usually don’t ask, What does God want me to do here? Instead, we simply look at our own preferences, asking, What do I think is best? What do I want?
If we call ourselves Christians though, we’re to live every day to please God. This may seem like we’re abandoning the good life for a dreary one. A life of following our own nature though, is one of self-destruction. As it turns out, God wants what’s best for us. He desires that we know life, joy, and peace. He made us though, to find those things perfectly in following him. So, today, and every day, we must learn to ask ourselves if we are living in such a way as to please ourselves or to please God. God, how did I do today?