So, I’m writing this on a Friday night and my daughter has just asked me for card, paper, a paper trimmer (she called it a shredder which sounds way cooler), a hole punch and a pencil. She then sat down and cut the paper to a smaller size and stuck it on the card and she has written out instructions for how to make a cheese and cucumber sandwich on it.
I’m astounded, astonished and speechless. It’s Friday night and I would have thought she would have wanted to do other things after a week at school. She has just taken real pleasure in doing school work outside of school time.
My daughter has special needs and she doesn’t usually work well independently but occasionally she has these moments when she gets something into her head that she wants to do and off she goes and does it. We have home schooled he for three years and it is encouraging to see the way that all that one to one help has given her the confidence and ability to produce something like this.
There are times when she was being home schooled and I’m sure times since she has gone back into school that she doesn’t want to do something that she is being asked to do.
Is doing school work a duty and a drag or is it a pleasure and a privilege?
The answer is hopefully both. Sometimes we remind our children that they just have to get on with it and we battle with them to complete (or even to start!) their homework and other times something inspires them and they work away without being asked.
Christianity is a lot like this too. A lot of us want to emphasize that our faith is about having a relationship with Jesus and that there is amazing joy and blessings to be found in knowing him. The full truth though is that sometimes Christianity involves a commitment to serve God even when we don’t feel like it. Christianity involves making hard choices and at times being unpopular, often it would be easier to keep our heads down but we choose to follow Jesus despite the cost.
If you’re a Christian, I wonder which one of these two descriptions most closely resembles your faith? I hope that it is both!
If our faith is all duty then we are missing out on God’s love. What good is it knowing that you follow God’s commands better than the other people in your church if you don’t obey the greatest command which is to love God? The Bible has a wonderful and inspirational prayer about asking God to restore the joy of our salvation. God wants us to feel passionate and joyful about knowing and following him.
If our faith is all emotion, what is going to sustain us when things get tough? Jesus’ final command before returning to heaven was for us to tell people everywhere about him. This command is pointless if our faith is all about love and emotion because we naturally talk about the things that we love and are the most passionate about. The Bible encourages us to have discipline in our faith, our love for Jesus is the most important but our commitment to God is what keeps us going.
Which of these two pictures describes you? If it is dominantly one or the other, then I hope you will pray and ask God to help you to become a more balanced Christian.
May we fall in love with Jesus again.
May we be willing to take up our cross and follow Jesus.