“Love God and do whatever you want.” — St. Augustine


John 12:1-8
Luke 10:38-42
Matthew 22:34-40

It’s not about being good. Or working hard. Honesty, integrity, morality, honor and respect don’t make the cut, either. Attending church faithfully or tithing regularly? Nope. It’s not providing for your family or earning a degree or succeeding in the workplace.  These are all good, but these don’t provide the purpose, the deep and true purpose, of our lives.

Now the words of what it’s not about become harder to believe. It’s not about making disciples. It’s not about going, being sent, or sending.  It’s not about building the church. Or winning souls. It isn’t about serving others or even serving God. You read that right: It’s not about serving God. Could we say that enough?

In truth, these all represent good and right things. But these don’t provide a foundation for the abundant life Jesus promised.  “Love the Lord your God. With all your heart. With all your strength. With all your soul.”

He requires nothing asks for everything. What He wants comes from and lives in the heart. Not in my efforts or my tasks, my words or my appearances. In my heart.  

Yes, yes, yes… Love God.  It’s about relationship, not religion, we say. Why then do we respond with a condition, a “Yes, but…” when we hear Jesus say the greatest commandment is love?  

Try it sometime.  Ask someone you know what they think is most important in a life of faith. Loving God is all too often qualified with a “Yes, but…” plus some additional activity.  The equation could look like this: life of faith = love God and others + __________. You fill in the blank.

Why are we adding to the equation? Why do we feel the need to work to earn love?   Given that we live in a performance-driven society, our performative instinct makes sense. Not that the things it produces are bad; they’re all great things, but how often do they flow from an honest desire to love the Lord? Are they the by-product of a love affair the way dates and roses and letters are between lovers?  Or do they stem from pressures to be good or fears that we must do these things to be loved?

What are you adding to the equation of loving God and others?
What drives your performance for love?
What are you focusing on, other than the condition of your heart?


Ⓒ Revolworks 2005