YOUR HEARTS DESIRE FOR THOSE YOU LIVE WITH
By Ernest O'Neill
Your Heart's Desire For Those You Live With
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
I'd like to suggest to you a way that you might approach it today. Think of this question: what do you want most for the person that you live with? What do you want most for the person you live with? So, for some of us, that's our roommate and for some of us it is a dear friend and for others, it's a husband or a wife, for some of us it's parents, some of us children. Now think of them, what do you want most for them?
"Well, I certainly think that they should be a little more considerate of my feelings. I'd like that. I'd like them to be a little more considerate of my feelings. I would if you ask me. And the toothpaste -- I wish they would squeeze it from the bottom up. And I wish they would come home in time for supper and not half an hour later. And I suppose what I want most for them all, I would love them to just think a little more about what I need and the kind of person I am. If they would just think a little more of somebody else than themselves."
This is really interesting, isn't it? Because we talk so much in our society about being a caring person and about breaking down communication barriers and about relating to others and about loving others. Yet, isn't it wild that we are given a question, what do you want most for the person you live with, and we don't hear that question at all, we don't. Because all those things that we've said are not for their good they're for our good. We want them to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom up for our good. We want them to come home for supper in time for our good. It's interesting that the question is, what do you want most for the person you live with? But we interpret it to mean, what do I want most the person that I live with to do for me, that they are not doing at the moment?
It is amazing, isn't it, that we are so wrapped up in ourselves and are so used to looking at life so much from our own personal view point and with self-reference always in mind that we tend to answer that way or not. I don't know if you answer that way or not, maybe you didn't. But it probably would embarrass us, how many of us thought, what do I want most for the person I live with? Well, yeah, those things. And you know others of us might say, "Oh! Yeah, well that's obviously selfish, I know that's wrong. What do I want most for the person I live with? Well, boy I would just like her to meet a nice guy and oh, I'd love her just to be happier. I'd love her just to be happier. Meet a nice guy, have a family, just find fulfillment, that's what I'd like." Or we say, "Well, I wish she could get a good job. I wish she could. I wish she could stop just jumping from one job to another and get a good job with challenges and with good prospects."
So do you really love them? Because your wishes don't have much purpose and certainly don't express what you think is most important in life. Or, if you do really want those things for them -- if you do really think the greatest thing for them would be to get the right wife, greatest thing for them would be to get the right job, greatest thing for them would be to get the right position or the right opportunity or the right prospects -- then how seriously do you take the things that this Jesus has said to us about life? I mean, it is true, isn't it? If what he said is true, if what is born of the flesh is flesh and all we have here is something that's not going to last very long, and therefore, it isn't worth spending time clothing it elaborately and taking tremendous care over making it look good above everything else -- if it's all going to go and disappear and if all this world is going to eventually be burned up and destroyed and if all of us who are preoccupied with the safety of this flesh and the importance of this flesh and the happiness of this flesh, we are only all going to be burned in our own lust and a kind of lake of fire where we'll live with each other in terror and in agony and in avarice -- then boy, surely the thing we should want most for the person we live with is that they are safe from all that.
I mean surely that's what we should want most. And that's, you remember, what was the purpose of God's love and that verse that the choir sang, "Why did God so love the world so that whoever believed on his son would not perish, but have eternal life." So, if you really love that person you live with, will you not want the best that you know for them? And that's what the verse that we are studying today says. It's the first verse of Romans 10. It's what Paul wanted for his dear friends in the Jewish religion. It's Romans 10, loved ones, and verse one, Romans 10:1. "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved." Well, get back to you and me. What is the deepest desire of your heart for the person you live with? What is the thing that your inner being wants most for them? I think a lot of us, you know, in a very sanctimonious way can say, "Oh, yeah, I wish they believed the way I believe" and we think, well then we wouldn't have so much trouble living with them. And I wish that they would see things as they really are and not be so dumb. We have that kind of attitude: what we need is to get them saved. And, of course, that's totally different, you know, from the way Paul expressed it. Because the truth is that that dear one that you live with, whether it's your wife or your husband or your dear friend, that dear one is a half-ghost of the person that God meant them to be.
They are poor half ghosts of the person that God meant them to be. They are pawns, they are the pawns of events and circumstances and people and all kinds of forces that they, dear souls, can't control. They're poor half ghosts of what they are meant to be. And the truth is that God has long ago put them into his son and completely remade them and transformed them. If they would only believe that and live that, they would be utterly changed in their own lives. They would not only live forever but would live the kind of lives that God wants them to live. And that's what we mean when we say "my desire for them is that they would be saved."