I have been away from this too long. My goal was originally to try to post something at least once a week for a couple of reasons. One to throw some thoughts out there that may generate some discussion. And two, to work on my writing skills -- I used to love to write, but I have been out of it for so long that I have a hard time putting thoughts on paper.
I've been thinking about the core motivations of human beings. While thinking about this I found that a great deal of what we do can really be traced back to 2 primary desires in our hearts -- Love and Acceptance. Our desire for love and friendships can obviously be traced to these, but I think the drive for success, fame, or fortune can also be ultimately trace back to these as well. What is success really, isn't it about being known as someone who is competent, valuable, and looked up to in a particular field? Isn't that really about acceptance? What about Fame? Isn't that really about being known and adored by masses of people? Then there is fortune, but is it really about the stuff, or is it about making an impression (Acceptance), or having the time and freedom to be more social?
While I've been thinking about all this, the verses about the Treasure in the field, and the Perl of great price (Matt 13:44-46) have kept coming to mind, along with Romans 6 (You have died to sin), as well as the numerous verses about Love being the fulfillment of the Law (such as Gal 5:14). Our self-preferring (sin) nature is constantly seeking to find Love and Acceptance on it's own terms. But what if we really understood that God Loves us and Accepts us as we are. No need to 'prove' ourselves, or to perform better to be Loved. What if we had all the Love and Acceptance we needed in Him? Would that be the pearl of great price, or the treasure hidden in the field? Would we then sell (get rid of) all the old ways of finding love and acceptance? Would we then be dead to all those old ways as well, since they held no life, no comparison to the Love and Acceptance we have in our Father? And if we had truly found such a treasure, would we be able to keep quiet?
One thing that I find sad it how easily as Christians we can get caught up in details and miss the big picture entirely. We get so caught up in proper behavior that we miss the whole point. The point isn't a set of principles or rules. The ultimate reality isn't a set of truths or a standard, it a personal being -- God. A God who has come into our broken world to restore us and our relationship with him. We are relational at our core, that is why love and acceptance is so important to us. That is also why Scripture says Love is the fulfillment of the Law. Law tells us how to treat God, and people when we don't love them but Love will take us much farther than Law ever could. I think Paul understood this and that is why he said "But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." (Rom 7:6)
I know that this is really nothing new; something that I have had 'knowledge' of for a while, but I think that God is beginning to work the truth of it into my heart.