Leaving “Deepness,” Embracing LOVE

1 09 2008

At some point during my Christian life, my walk with God became very deep. I'm not sure how, why or at what point this happened. I just know it happened, and before I knew it, it seemed to turn my relationship with God into some unachieveable race for perfection and authority to be thought of as…well…deep…

This weekend I was able to return to the original reason why I made a decision to follow Christ in the first place — LOVE. I became a Christian because I believed God loved me and that I could come to him like a child and call him Daddy. And that's all that mattered to me. I didn't need things. I didn't care what other people thought about me. The gospel was very simple to me. It was about a Savior who loved me and the world unconditionally.

It's amazing how subtly religious thoughts and some religious teachings can lead us so far away from the simplicity of that message. We get a little revelation and suddenly the word becomes complex. And suddenly enjoying or doing anything in life becomes a sin. At the Labor Day Retreat this weekend, our guest speaker, Brennan Manning, made a comment on how it's a shame that when you ask unbelievers what Christians are known for, most of them will say that Christians are known for being against abortion and against gay marriage. But very few of them say that they know us for our LOVE.

This weekend I was reconnected with the simple idea that I am called to love God. And I was challenged with the idea that I need to do a better job at loving my neighbor. That's not very deep, but it is foundational. I'm tired of being deep and trying to live up to other Christians' standards about what I should believe, think, say or do, or how I should behave. I think instead I'll try actually following the Great Commission.

I've gone to the LDR with the singles at Buckhead Church for the past 3 years straight and I never cease to be disappointed. I always seem to be challenged tremendously to re-think my walk with God. Each year the messages have been simple. But yet so difficult to carry out. Andy always says he gets criticism from people who think he doesn't do enough "deep" teaching, and I always love his response to that. "I'll start doing the deeper teaching when we can master the simple teaching." The simple teaching is LOVE and I think that sums up what I got out of this weekend.

I know I've said this soooo many times on this blog, but I am so grateful for my church. I'm so thankful that I took the plunge and visited even though it was waaaay outside of my comfort zone to do so. This church has stretched my thinking in so many ways I can't even express. I'm already anticipating going back to LDR next year to see what else God has in store…

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