Skip to main content

What's in it for me?

We all probably have asked the question, "What's in it for me?"  In the environment of teams, we call this the WIIFM factor.  People always seem to have an underlying need to know the risks of taking certain steps - but they also want to know the benefits.  This is why surgeons go over both the risks and benefits of the surgery being considered.  Going under the knife carries the possibility of good outcomes (the disease is removed), but it also comes with some pretty unwelcome risks such as bleeding, infection, and even death!  Knowing the "benefits" of certain actions helps us determine if they are best for our lives.  I think this is what Paul had in mind when he penned these words:

But what happens when we live God's way?  
He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard — things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
(Galations 5:22-23 The Message)

Paul has been reminding us of the lack of wisdom exhibited in using our freedom in Christ as a means to justify our continued sinfulness.  He took great pains to lay out the differences between being secure in the one-time sacrifice Christ made at Calvary and the futility of continually trying to do things to justify ourselves through our good works.  

Now, he wants us to realize the benefits of letting go of our need to constantly prove ourselves worthy of God's love.  He if presenting the "WIFFM" factor.  What's in it for us?  Good gifts!  Changed character!  Different focus!  Allegiances which really matter!  A position of great authority!  Wow!  In today's vernacular, I think our response would be, "Sign me up!"

Look at the list:

- Affection for others - no longer being so self-focused and independent, but a true desire to "attach" and be "devoted" to others.  The benefit of "connected" relationship is being described here.

- Exuberance about life - not just exuberance "for" life, but exuberance "about" life.  Abundant and lavish enjoyment of today, not because we are still taking in breath, but because of the promise of profuse growth and awesome enjoyment of each day.

- Serenity - calmness of character is something many strive for, but few actually realize.  Instead, we live with continual chaos.  God's plan is for us to know the tranquility of his presence each moment of our day.

- A willingness to stick with things - some call this tenacity; others will call this commitment.  Either way, it conveys the idea of standing firm.  It is the idea of being persistent - getting on course and staying on course.

- A sense of compassion in the heart - there are times we are moved to meet a need, just because of what we see or hear.  I cannot watch those ASPCA commercials which show the wounded, underfed dogs and cats for this very reason!  The images "move" me!  The heart is made up of our mind, will and emotions.  The mind takes in the need, the emotions drive our response, and the will moves to meet the need.  Christ's Spirit helps to align our heart with the good we need to be doing each and every day.

- A conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people - in other words, we learn to judge less and extend grace more.  We don't overlook sin, but we don't judge the sinner, either.  We embrace the sinner, extend grace, and await the move of Christ's Spirit in their lives.

- An ability to direct our energies wisely - because of redirected focus, we don't spin our wheels quite as much!

The list of "benefits" are pretty awesome!  The enjoyment of freedom in Christ is summed up in the benefits.  How do we know if someone is enjoying and living in the freedom Christ brings - we look for the fruit!  


  1. Great reminder Lauretta. Like the old saying goes, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care'. May each of us strive to show others we care through the freedom we have in Christ. God Bless!


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment if this message has spoken to your heart.

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…


When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…