In the next segment, Chan approaches the subject of how we can begin to reconcile the thoughts of fearing God and loving God. This is obviously important and I won't skip over it, but I'm going to hold off on that until Friday. Instead, for today, I want to focus on something he says at the bottom of page 56.
"Most Christians have been taught in church or by their parents to set aside a daily time for prayer and scripture reading. It's what we are supposed to do, and so for a long time it's what I valiantly attempted. When I didn't, I felt guilty." p.56
I definitely fall into this category. I know that I've mentioned this before, but I'm a "List" person. I make a list for everything. They're a great tool for keeping you focused and on task, but they can also be a HUGE trap. For the longest time, I had "READ THE BIBLE" on my "To Do" List everyday...along with things like: Go to the Gym, Pay the Bills, and Do the Laundry. It was essentially boiled down to a chore... something I did and then checked off my list. Honestly, most times, I probably rushed through it JUST SO I COULD MARK IT OFF THE LIST. Chan goes onto say:
"Over time I realized that when we love God, we naturally run to Him- frequently and zealously. Jesus didn't command that we have a regular time with Him each day. Rather, He tells us to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' He called this the 'first and greatest commandment' (Matt. 22-37-38). The results are intimate prayer and study of His Word. Our motivation changes from guilt to love." p.57
You know, it seems like I'm hearing this a lot lately. In fact, our pastor has made reference to this Scripture quite frequently the past few weeks. I think, collectively, we just let the words wash over us, not allowing them to seep into our souls. "Of course, we're suppose to love God...Duh." But what does that look like... compare it to what you know. I love my husband. I want to spend time with him. I look forward to when the kids are playing so I can sit down and actually have a conversation with him. I want to know what he's thinking and I value his opinion. Can I say this about God? In theory...Yes. In actuality, as reflected in my actions... maybe not, or at least not as much as my husband...which is a problem.
So how do we fix it? Well, I'm not quite sure how to fix it, but I do have a pretty good place to start: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. STOP!!!!!! Right now, I know that some of you are saying, "Yeah, yeah...Love is patient...I know, I've had that memorized for years." Do I need to replay the Chan video about his daughter cleaning her room? Look up the Scripture. Do you notice anything different about how "love" is portrayed? Love IS patient. Love IS kind. You see, we have been conditioned in our society to believe that love is a feeling: butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms. But, that's not what Scripture says. Here, we see that love is a noun that's involved in action. It's doing something. Instead of waiting for God to stir something in us...an emotion or feeling... why aren't we out there stirring it up ourselves. If the greatest commandment is to love God, then we need to be ACTIVELY loving Him. For some of us, including myself, this might be a little difficult at first...but that's why we have homework!
For the next 48 hours, try to ACTIVELY love God. Read 1 Corinthians 13 if you need some inspiration. For me, I'm going to start actively "loving" other people and see what God reveals to me. I'm hoping that He will help me understand how to love Him more... and I'm sure He's saying "About time!"
His Faithful Servant~