My wife enjoys cut flowers. Actually, she enjoys nearly all flowers. When I remember to bring them to her, she lights up. The trouble with cut flowers is that they soon dry up and demonstrate that cutting them is the beginning of a not-too-distant end. That all flowers come to an end is a sad reality of the Spring that I am now enjoying. It makes me wonder about the effects of sin and what the world will be like when sin’s effects no longer hold sway.

Will cut flowers live forever? Will we cut flowers? If the flower never dies, how will we get seeds to propagate? So many questions. I must admit, I prefer living flowers to their dead alternative.

There are many things about our broken world that I am looking forward to seeing change. For one, the inevitable way that selfishness creeps into everything. The resulting distrust is also a pain. I found myself quoting the immortal words of Ronald Reagan today, “Trust, but verify.”  He was dealing with the Soviet Union and trying to get a nuclear arms reductions agreement, so he wanted to be sure. He was asking them to do something that was not in their self-interest.

The fact that the human heart is deceitful, even to its’ owner, is at the root of our broken world. Jeremiah the prophet goes so far as to claim it as “deceitful above all things.” That is serious. It implies that we humans need to check our motives for each decision. Am I doing this thinking of a positive impact for my neighbor or just for me? Am I reporting this event on my social media account to be a blessing or to just look like I am?

The real revolution in kindness that the world needs must start with me. I can’t demand kindness in others. It may not even be wise to expect it. But I can expect it of myself. We in America are spending way too much time and energy looking around at others critically. Instead, we have to ask the hard questions of ourselves. We need to check our motives!

This is a me-first event. Go ahead push to the front of the line on this one. Let’s attempt to outstrip each other in doing good. But we aren’t allowed to take a selfie and post it. Jesus said that the people of God should do good in secret and leave the reward in God’s hands. He declared that if we do it for the praise of the crowd, we lose the blessing God intended. Their praise is all we will experience.

How about it? Let’s stop worrying so much about the motives of others and their praise. Why don’t we check our own hearts and be the blessing that makes the world better? Even if it’s only improved by the weight of that one thing.

I’m in, are you?