C.S. Lewis wrote, “I may repeat “do as you would be done by’ (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God; and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him” (Mere Christianity, 87). (BTW, I know neighbor is spelled differently)
And so begins the ultimate struggle between what I want to do and what God wants me to do. I’ve been truly dealing and wrestling with that for more than a minute as I continue on this journey with God. When we initially hear the word “obey” it’s like STOP! Nobody move…nobody get’s hurt. This is almost as contentious as a Health Care Debate. For some, there is this automatic push that fights obeying just because it’s not what I “want” to do. But what does it really mean to “obey” God?
Well it can’t mean cowering down to a vengeful God. That’s not going to work. It can’t mean forcing others to do anything they don’t want to do. That’s not going to work. It can’t mean scaring people into places where they believe. That’s totally not going to work, and honestly I think that’s so far away from where God is that it’s borderline psycho. But it does mean, that if we really love God like we say we love God, then we live our lives a way that reflects that love of God.
Obedience to what God says. Forgiveness matters. Integrity matters. Justice and mercy matter. Hope matters. Hugs matter (okay it doesn’t say that exactly but you get the point). Grace matters.
The way we begin to understand those ideas is for us to be invested and involved deeper day after day. Lewis is suggesting that in order for us to grow in faith and understanding we have dig deeper into the service of God’s people. We have to open ourselves up to the celebration and worship of a present God and we have to open our hearts and minds to the study of God’s word through small groups and spiritual formation.
Speak On That!