January 17, 2008

Resolved (Day 11)

#13 – Resolved: To be endeavouring to find out fit objects of liberality and charity.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people that are having problems in their marriage or that have been divorced say the words: "I just don't love them anymore".

Other than the classic misconception that love is a state instead of a verb, that statement brings out a common problem with a lot of people.

We don't want to seek out ways to love people. We really don't. We would rather sit in our house, watch our TV, eat our frozen pizzas, write Facebook messages, play World of Warcraft on our PC's, etc etc. Anything that allows us to consume and stay passive.

The last thing we want to do is get up and go find a way to make a difference in the life of someone else. And not only do we not want to get up in the first place, say we actually do find somewhere that we want to go, very rarely when we get there do we do that thing with a spirit of generosity and love.

We usually do it with a sense of obligation and duty, all the while pondering what we could be doing that would be really fun for us.

Why? Because we don't believe in Jesus.

And before you get mad at that statement, ponder the fact that if you really believed in Jesus, why wouldn't you be generous? Why wouldn't you be loving? Why wouldn't you be seeking out other people the way Jesus sought you out? Why wouldn't you be serving and loving other people with love and caring the way Jesus served, loved, and died for you?

You don't believe.

If we believed, we would become more and more like the thing we believe in. Because when we believe, our passions, our intentions and our wills are directed and energized toward the object which we believe. And in that action, we become more like what we believe.

Don't believe me? Look around you. Look at what people are consumed with. Look at what they believe (love) the most. Chances are they're going to strongly resemble it.

And I'm not saying here that because Jesus loved you, can't you go love others for Jesus. That's not the Gospel. That's not Christianity. That's some religious, legalistic freakshow that teaches you to think that you have the power within yourself to love.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. You have the capacity to love because Jesus first loved you and lived a loving, caring, generous, servant life for you. His power is your power. Period. So the only way to be intentional about loving and generosity (as Edwards stated in his resolution) is to believe in Jesus. Edwards could make such a bold resolution because he knew that it wasn't him who was loving. It was Jesus who was loving.

Endeavoring is a strong word. It evokes feelings of work, labor, gruel, effort, strength, intentionality?

So many want to love others in a passive way and hope it makes a difference.

I would ask you to read the Bible and see if it took work and effort on the part of Jesus to demonstrate His love and generosity towards you.

Now, because He did it, you have the power to do it.

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