As you might have noticed, I’ve picked up Crazy Love to read. If you haven’t read it, don’t. It will make you uncomfortable. It won’t let you look yourself in the mirror and feel okay about how you’re not giving God what he deserves. I’ve had to put it down a few times because I couldn’t deal with the conviction.
I asked the question not too long ago, “When is it okay to say no to a good thing?” Maybe you remember. When is it okay not to feel convicted and make the sacrifice to help? This book isn’t letting me off the hook. As my friend says who gave me this book, “It’s wrecking me.” It is.
Here’s why. It’s a question of response versus action. Is the Christian life primarily one of responding faithfully to what comes at me? Or is it primarily about setting out to act faithfully according to my convictions? Is obedience to God defined more by how I act or how I react? Is it okay to live how I’m living and be obedient when the challenges show up at my doorstep? Or do I need to step out the door and go find the challenges myself? Do I just take what comes or do I go out and make something happen?
The answer of course is probably in-between, both, a mix, c) all of the above. But that doesn’t help much.
In reality, the truth is that I’m not obedient in either regard, neither with what comes at me, nor with the potential to go find something to be obedient in doing. I’m failing under either rubric. I recently read it put this way: “We’re educated beyond our obedience.”
I know my Bible. I know what God has said and what he expects. I don’t have to do any theological interpretation to understand it. I don’t need any commentaries or study notes or sermon applications. I know what it says, and I don’t do it.
Maybe these questions are just sidestepping the issue. Maybe these two sides are just splitting hairs. Maybe when Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off” he was neither exaggerating nor expecting us to mutilate our bodies. Maybe he simply expected us avoid the issue of mutilation versus exaggeration altogether by simply obeying and not sinning in the first place.
Like I said, don’t read the book.