Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The backwards belief.

Sometimes, despite my best intentions I get things backwards when it comes to God. For instance, I'm speaking to a men's group in a few weeks and like every other time I speak, I'll be tempted to be "extra holy" the week before.

Inside I'll quietly believe, "If I want God to bless this speech, then I need to really up my spiritual side." Now, before I poke holes in that belief, I will say that I think the enemy loves to damage us the most in moments before God really unleashes his love. That is, I think the enemy loves to tempt you strongly in the week leading up to your church retreat for example. But this is different, my thought represents a backwards belief.

Here, stripped of excuses is what I often believe:
"When I am good, God loves me more."

I know that for many the definition of grace is, "There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make God love you less." But, my secret thoughts don't always line up with that. A verse in Romans 2 this morning kind of convicted me. Here is what verse 4 says:

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

I want to focus on the last six words in that sentence because I think they're really powerful. Do you see the order there? Doesn't it feel opposite to what I believe sometimes and maybe you too?

"God's kindness leads you toward repentance." In my heart that doesn't make much sense. The rest of the world doesn't work that way. When I work harder, I get a bigger bonus at the end of the year at my job. When I treat my friends with compassion they enjoy spending time with me more. When I give the lawn guy a drink, he does a little better job spraying the weedkiller.

We live in a "give/get" kind of world. But God doesn't. His kindness leads us toward repentance. It doesn't say, "Your repentance leads you toward God's kindness." Not at all. We got it backwards.

Today, be honest with yourself, and admit what kind of backwards beliefs you might be carrying around. And if you want, share them with other people by posting a response to this blog.


Aaron said...

why are you rocking 2 blogs?
both really good, but why?

Aaron said...

got it. Thanks man!
Hey can you email me, I have a random question for you.

Aaron said...

my backwards thought...
my morality proves how much I love God.

Brenda said...

I agree with the one Aaron posted.