Make Jesus happy.
If I had a life motto that would probably be it. That is what I want to do more than anything. I am sure I fall short of it a million times a day. I am sure there are a lot of times where God is shaking His head at me and my pitiful attempts. I am sure He gets a little disappointed when I fail by screaming at my kids in frustration or worrying more about those two hours of TV time than I am about the ten minutes of Bible reading I didn't do that day.
Pass or fail it's still my goal. Every day. Not because I'm trying to earn something from God.
I can't earn anything from God. This 'making Jesus happy thing' isn't about my salvation or God's love. He can't possibly love me anymore than He already does and He proved it by taking care of the salvation bit on the cross.
No, making Jesus happy isn't about earning more love or brownie points or cool points or blessings. It's just about Jesus. He loves me. I love Him. I want to make Him happy.
It's the same as any relationship, like with my husband or my children, I love them so I want them to be happy. I want to be a part of that happiness.
This also isn't about holiness. Again, I can't earn anymore love or anymore salvation from God than He already has given me. But I can bless Him in return for His blessings. And the coolest thing that happens when I try to live in a way that makes Jesus happy is that people who don't yet know Jesus get to have an introduction. I don't do it to earn more love for myself but to share His love with others. It's just how it works.
Living to make Jesus happy with me is really me living out the two greatest commandments. No, the 10 big ones haven't been specially prioritized. Jesus just summed them up, simplified them really, into two.
1. Love God
2. Love people
I told you it was simple. But if we are honest the how is a little more complicated isn't it? Acting out these two love rules isn't so cut and dry.
It's hard to always make the choice that Jesus would want us to make, or give up the things He would want us to give up. It's hard to love God sometimes because it doesn't always feel good.
It's also hard to love people because some people are hard to love. They don't react the way we want them to, or respond the way we want them to and so we don't feel like loving them either.
But I can't control other people. I certainly can't control God. I can control myself. I can take responsibility for my own thoughts, attitudes and actions. I can choose to please God even if it doesn't please people. I can choose to make Jesus happy even when it means, for the moment, that I don't feel happy.
Making Jesus happy isn't about my feelings after all. It's not about my wants or rights. It's about obedience to His Lordship in my life...in the big things and the small.
It's about asking the question...God, does this make you happy with me? ( I emphasized that me part because I am trying to enforce the point that it's between you and Jesus and not other people, it's not about them, it's not contingent on them and how they behave. I just want to be clear because that part is hard.)
God, are you happy with what I'm posting on social media? (Not, do I have the right to post it or I think it's from the best place in my heart but does it make you happy?)
God, are you happy with the way I spoke to that person, or about them? (How they spoke to me isn't an excuse. The fact that they are in the spotlight or have a public platform also isn't an excuse. They are still a person after all, one Jesus loves and died for just like me, I think making Jesus happy means remembering that.)
God, are you happy with how I spent my time today? (Was Jesus a priority? And this is less about quantity than it is about quality. God's math here isn't like ours. The minutes don't have to be even for God to come first.)
God, are you happy with the way I treated my husband, my kids? (Man, this one can be really hard because it's the people we love the most who we tend to treat as the most common.)
I could go on. The way I acted at the Walmart, the things I yelled at the car who cut me off in traffic, the impatience I showed, the bad attitude I'm carrying, the fear I'm letting overshadow my faith, the excuses I'm making to justify when I fail.
Making Jesus happy can be complicated. It requires intentionality. It requires thinking before we speak and act. It requires self assessment. But the benefits far outweigh the cost.
When we live to make Jesus happy we open ourselves up wide for God to work in awesome ways in and through our lives. I want to be wide open for God to use. I want Him to have plenty of room to move in my life. I want Him to be able to shout His love through me. I want to make Jesus happy. The end.