Saturday, May 29, 2010
Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
"If you love me, you will obey what I command."
You might be wondering what in the world Falling in Love has to do with circumcision. Before you get carried away, let me try to explain. A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about Freedom in Christ and commented on the topic of circumcision. In that same post, I also discussed the tendency of Christians to become legalistic and rule-driven, rather than relationship-driven. That post got some attention...and a desire from my readers to do a follow-up on the other end of that spectrum.
And with these thoughts in mind, I am following up to that post out of fear of escorting readers to the other extreme of freedom. You see, although I never want to come across as a legalistic, rule-based believer- at the end of the day I also not want to come across as a "do whatever the heck you want" kind of believer.
So let me begin. I typically don't pay much attention to Christian Radio. Unless the song playing is by Hillsong United, I don't tend to give it too much thought. But just the other day I was driving to work and this song caught my attention.
Give me rules
I will break them
Give me lines
I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet
It ought to be
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out
Come take a look at me now
It's like I'm falling, oh
It's like I'm falling in love
Give me words
I'll misuse them
I'll misplace them
'Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free
It's gotta be
There is something special about the words of this song by Jason Gray. There is something special because it is emphasizing the importance of relationship.
And in my opinion, with relationship comes much bigger obligation than with rules. Trust me, as a married woman, I know this to be a fact. I have always viewed my the connection between relationship and responsibility in this fashion:
I love my husband. And because I love him I do my best to do the things that he would appreciate. I try to keep the house clean. I bake him his favorite cookies. I wash his clothes...and sometimes I even fold them. I do these things and more because I am absolutely head over heels in love with him, and I want him to know this. I have always thought about obedience to God's commands in this sense. Purely, out of love.
Now, imagine if I came home from a long day of work to a list tacked on the wall of John's "Do's and Dont's". Wash my clothes, iron my shirts, sweep the kitchen, weed the garden- and on and on and on. In all honesty my first reaction would be: "REBEL! Not doin' it. No way, no how, no when. Who does he think I am?"
The reaction would be entirely different...my heart would sink in following his rules rather than thrive in doing these things out of love. In a sense, that miserable list would take away my joy. And I guess, there lies the key in all that I am trying to say today: LOVE. Relationship. Rules and Responsibilities cannot stand apart from those things, or at the end of the day they are a "stone tied to my feet". And nothing more.
It causes me to really examine my relationship with God....because the moment the relationship is weakened and is no longer watered by love (And believe it or not, it's only weakened because of me...God usually does his part to keep it strong, go figure) I sink into a dangerous path of do's and don'ts that take away my joy and cause the seed of rebellion to begin to take root in my heart. It's a toxic seed. A seed that can quickly seep into every part of my being.
So at the end of the day, the law still has a part of the picture. And a good part. But for it to mean anything at all....it must be fueled by love. It's more like Falling in Love than something to believe in. More like losing my heart, than giving my allegiance...It's like I'm falling in love.
Lessons Learned by Debra Fileta at 7:28 PM