The Lazy Susan
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
– John 3:30
One of my favorite things about getting married this past May was making a wedding registry. You might say I’m selfish and materialistic, but free stuff is fantastic, especially given by people who love you. One of the things my wife wanted to put on the registry was something called a Lazy Susan. I had no idea what this was and it didn’t make much sense to me. I thought it was just a plate that you put some sort of centerpiece on. I had misaligned expectations of what this thing was and therefore, the gift I was given was not used as it should be.
A lot of the time, I believe we treat the church like I treated the Lazy Susan. We have misaligned and somewhat wrong, expectations of what church should be. We treat the church as if it is meant for us and as if it is meant to make us better. In actuality, the church is meant for God. We are designed to worship God and make much of Him. This should give us the expectation that when we come to His house, it must be all about Him and not about us. I believe we all fall into this trap. We all come into the church with misaligned expectations.
When we come to church, we must expect God and look for God to change us in some way. We cannot expect to come into the presence of God and not leave looking different. If not, we’re merely sitting for 1-2 hours and not doing anything. It makes no sense to come to a place where we believe God is present and not leave looking more like Him. Isn’t that the goal? Isn’t the goal of being a Christian to look more like Jesus as we grow in our faith?
If we’re honest, we sometimes struggle with this. We live in a culture that says we must be “us first”. We live in a day where the culture has changed to an individual-centric culture. Everything is about the self and yet John the Baptist says in John 3:30 that he must decrease and Christ must increase. What an upside-down statement to make in today’s culture! When we come to church, we must expect Christ to increase and us to decrease. That ought to be the goal.
I didn’t realize the potential of the Lazy Susan. Because of these misaligned expectations and because I had put this thing in a metaphorical box, I became frustrated with it. My wrong expectations of what it was for led to me not properly using it and wasting the gift I had been given. However, it took my wife properly utilizing this gift for me to understand its purpose and value. Now we use it regularly and we have correct expectations of it.
When we have wrong expectations of what church ought to be, we end up frustrated with it and wasting one of God’s greatest gifts–each other. We’re all sinners in need of a Savior. We all need to decrease as Christ increases. We all need to turn our eyes to Christ and make much of Him. The church is meant for us to be able to do that together as a gift that helps us follow Jesus closer and look more like Him.
Pray: Father, thank you for the gift of the Church. Help me to cherish and hold her in high esteem. Help me to lay down my own desires and intentionally decrease and help me to intentionally make much of You.
First Baptist Broken Arrow