More Than You Are Willing To Give

(3 min read)

Today’s Lectio365 reminds me that with the best of intentions (and often nefarious), it’s easy to replace God’s commands with our own softer, customized, more personal version of them.

The Pharisees of Jesus’ time had created an economic empire such that they felt comfortable claiming anything that a person set aside to care for their parents (which is God’s command) as needing to be handed over to the temple (which was most certainly not).

Talk about over-tithing!

The Pharisees invented a rule that created a religious obligation. The problem was, however much the gift served the temple, it stopped serving the purpose: obeying the command of God and providing care for parents who desperately needed it.

To get what they wanted, the Pharisees stretched the boundaries of God’s provision and fashioned a religious "have to" that benefited them, at great harm to someone else.
This is the opposite of Agape love by definition, by the way.

It’s not just the Pharisees though. Is it?
How often do we stare God’s commands in the eye and then say,
"Well, if God really loved me, he wouldn’t ask me to…"? 
"If God knew my situation, he would be alright if I just…". 
"If this was what God wanted, it would be more like…".

There are legitimate moments to consider our objections to God’s commands, but more often than not, we have great propensity and imagination to stretch the boundaries so that we get what we want.  

It’s become customary to blast congregation from the pulpit over stuff like this, but what is so wonderful about the Lectio is that both barrels are empty. It’s not up to me, or someone in a robe to make sure you "feel the pain" today. Instead, Lectio opens wide the doors of grace and encourages us to walk with the Lord requesting gently, maybe even timidly:

"Holy Spirit, show me the commands of God that I am ignoring because they are too hard or require more than I am willing to give."

Whatever the Holy Spirit shows you, you won’t find guilt.
You will find more life than you ever imagined. 
Life to the full!

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