The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Getting things in order

Christians have a lot of things they believe. I'm right there with them in that. It seems that religion and beliefs go hand in hand. There's certainly good reason for that. Beliefs are important.

But I want to suggest that perhaps there's something more important than what you and I give agree with in our heads. And that is, what you and I love. What we love says more about who we are than what we believe. However, like beliefs we can say that we love something but not really love it. We know what we're supposed to love (just like we know what we're supposed to believe), but often what we really love is something else entirely.

Augustine had what is called "ordo amoris," or "order of loves." It was the idea that everything that we loved should be placed in a hierarchy, a particular order. In other words, how you prioritize what's most important to you. I think, out of this, Augustine defined sin as disordered loves. I find this way of thinking about my faith really helpful. Actually, I find thinking about my life this way really helpful. Essentially, it means that sin is just having mixed-up priorities.

I like thinking this way because it affirms that it's not wrong to love the things I love, but that maybe I should love something else more or less. Oftentimes, I think I should not love this or that, but really, I only need to put it in the right order, in the right place. That's helpful for me. Maybe it could be for you too.

One more thing. When I think about prioritizing my loves, I don't have to look very far for some good advice, and a place to start. Jesus himself (I'm a big fan of his--I could be moreso though) summed up our first two loves: "Love God. Love people."

I mean, do that will take the rest of my life, but at least it gets me started on the right track. Now if I could just do it, and not talk about it.