When is enough enough?

I've started reading through this book Mom brought called "He Loves Me!"

There are some details I don't agree with, but his basic ideas are compelling, and, well... just what I needed, I think.

When is enough enough? How much do I have to do to make God happy?

I've wondered that for years- ever since I became a Christian. Especially since I attended Bible college- the focus was on evangelism, naturally.

Evangelism's not a bad thing, but it turned into a way for me to measure approval (God's and other people's). If I did enough, and did it right, things would go well. When I was depressed or anxious, it was because I was doing something wrong, or not doing enough of the right things. Lord forbid that I ever admit that I don't like canvassing- God would surely hate me then!

That is so... dysfunctional. Like God was another G, vacantly and disconnectedly living in the same house, but only caring to show attention and affection if you were really enthusiastic about the things he liked. I remember sitting on G's lap for hours while he played Final Fantasy 6 on the computer. He even name a character after me! I felt like he loved me then. (Unfortunately, it was tinged around the edges with some creepiness, due to the molestation, but I overlooked that for the sake of just being a little girl in her daddy's lap.)

Is God the same way? If that's so, then I made a grave mistake when I left Bible work and canvassing. Does God only like the people that are super enthusiastic about the things he likes? But God's the one that set things up so that I could quit!

So the parable of the prodigal son helps clear things up for me a lot. In Luke 15, Jesus gives 3 parables to  help clear up this issue. I don't have time to go into it now, because I have to make lunch, but suffice it to say for now that God is not only loving to those who share his hobbies.

I really resonate with the elder son in the parable of the prodigal son. His brother disrespectfully and irresponsibly took his share of the inheritance (while the father was still alive!) and blew it on stupid stuff. He's still at home, doing the right thing and working for and alongside his father. He's doing it right. However, when the younger son comes home, ashamed and embarrassed, the father runs to him and throws a party. He still loves him! He's been watching the road for years, hoping to see his son walking up the driveway to the house.

The older son is, needless to say, a little bitter. He's been doing it right, but it seems like dad is totally forgetting that fact. His irresponsible kid brother did it totally WRONG, and he gets the party?!

But the father treats him with the same gentle respect, and invites him in to the party.

Whichever side, the father is the same. He doesn't play one against the other. He doesn't like one better than the other. He interacts when them in different ways, sure, but the love is still the same.


0 thoughts:

Post a Comment