Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guided by Love.

Growing up, I always wanted to be the best at everything I did. I lived by the verse, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not men...", which I still believe, by all means, but in turn, I became very prideful. I wanted to be perfect, I mean, after all, God says to be perfect as He is perfect, right? I thought doing everything right was the only way to be a better Christian. I was wrong.

Ben Stuart spoke last night about the difference between obeying a standard, or being guided by love. Obeying a standard includes making a list of things that spiritual people do, and thinking that by doing these things, you also may be more spiritual and in tune with Christ. So there are three things that might happen after making this list: 1. You get tired of living by someone else's rules and standards and you give up. 2. You stick with it, but because you can never be good enough, you spend most of your life defeated and withdrawn. Or 3. You follow every rule, do everything right, and you know the name of every person who doesn't. And you become prideful. NONE OF WHICH IS CHRISTIANITY.

Option three was my issue. However, I knew I was "supposed" to be humble, so I didn't show the self-praise I had built up inside. But it was there, oh yeah, it was there. I made sure I was at every church service, I read my Bible every night, I never drank, cussed, smoked, and I frowned on every person that did. I was wrong.

Thankfully, God grabbed my heart a few years ago, and I've never been the same. I had so much guilt and shame for my foolishness and lack of love. Because the truth is, going to church every Sunday and reading our Bibles every night just to check something off the list isn't true Christianity. It's not seeking God's face everyday, or being more like Jesus. It's not being guided by love.

Being guided by love means "[seeking] FIRST His kingdom and righteousness". And then, we'll want to obey Christ, and we'll want to enter into His holy sanctuary, we'll want to hear from Him through His word, and we'll want to do everything as if we're working for the Lord. It won't be some list of standards to maintain.

Being guided by love means walking slowly to make sure an opportunity isn't missed, talking with Christ about even the little things in life, being more concerned about the body of Christ than what's going on tomorrow, or spending time investing in people's lives and not worrying about the fact that you need to be at dinner in five minutes.

I say all this because I still struggle with it. I'm a huge planner, and so to be guided by love and not time, or agenda, or order is tough sometimes. It's something Christ is changing within me, and I wanted to make sure to remember what He's doing.


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