If you live in the Indy area, you may want to attend the THINK conference at College Park Church next weekend, where I’ll be explaining the biblical foundation and personal application of the Christian worldview. It should be a provocative and meaningful time, so come if you can.
Here’s another entry for Our Daily Journey (you can tell what I’ve been up to), where I attempt to turn the thought of Jonathan Edwards into something devotional. I am particularly unhappy with the end of my first paragraph, “she wailed to no avail” (pretty archaic and formulaic). I’m open to any suggestions, just remember that I’m already at my 300 word limit, so the adjustment can’t add too many extra words.
read > Matthew 10:32-42
“If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine” (v. 37).
Shen Jie fell hard for Hou You Jing. They were from the same province, shared a love for badminton and western movies, and as if by fate, met while working second shift at a microchip processor in Shenzhen. Shen Jie couldn’t stand to be away from Hou You Jing, and she didn’t notice that her constant calls and weekend plans were beginning to smother him. Hou You Jing slowly pulled away, and when he realized that Shen Jie would not pick up on any of his many hints, finally told her that he was breaking up. Shen Jie was devastated. “I love you!” she wailed to no avail.
Actually she didn’t. Jonathan Edwards explained that we only love another person if we love them first in God. Any love that stops short of God is actually a form of selfishness. We love ourselves rather than others, our family rather than another, or our city or country rather than another town or nation. Our circle of love may widen to include everyone on planet Earth, yet still we prefer our planet to the possible inhabitants of others. Edwards explained that “true virtue consists in love to Being in general” and only afterwards “to any one particular being.”
This is partially Jesus’ point when he commands us to love him more than our closest family and friends. He isn’t merely warning against idolatry, but also he is telling us how to fully enjoy these relationships. When we love another person more than God we inevitably ask more from them than they can deliver. Our neediness eventually suffocates them and our friendship.
Jesus said that whatever we cling to we will lose, but “if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” If you love something let it go…in God.