Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I'm reading the book "Mad Church Disease" by Anne Jackson and in the chapter I was reading yesterday morning she was talking about the two greatest commandments (i.e. love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbors as ourselves) and she pointed out that it doesn't say to love our neighbors with all our strength, it tells us to love God with ALL our strength - only if we do that are we able to love our neighbors at all. She also went on to say that a lot of us are doing a pretty lousy job of loving ourselves, which means we're setting a really low standard for loving our neighbors. (For more stuff from Anne Jackson, check out her new book "Permission to Speak Freely" or her blog.)
I needed to hear that. It's so easy to get caught up trying to do everything for everyone and forget to first love God with ALL our strength. It's only when we expend all our energy on God that we have energy to give to anyone else, including ourselves.
I'm going through an overwhelming season of life and I'm thankful for the perseverance God is teaching me (even though I'm not always the best student). But even though overwhelming seasons are part of life, we often bring them on ourselves when we think we're too busy to make time, our best time, for God. We start running on an empty spiritual tank and it doesn't get us very far.
So, here's today's gut check - what are the things currently getting the benefit of ALL your strength and where is God?