Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The love of Christ constrains.

My sweet friend, Rachel S., posted this on Facebook today:  

"For a love relationship to be healthy there must be a mutual loss of independence. It can't be just one way. Both sides must say to the other, 'I will adjust to you. I will change for you. I'll serve you even though it means sacrifice for me.' If only one party does all the sacrificing and giving, and the other does all the ordering and taking, the relationship will be exploitative and will oppress and distort the lives of both people.

"At first sight, then, a relationship with God seems inherently dehumanizing. Surely it will have to be 'one way,' God's way. God, the divine being, has all the power. I must adjust to God -- there is no way God could adjust to and serve me.

"While this may be true in other forms of religion and belief in God, it is not true in Christianity. In the most radical way, God has adjusted to us -- in His incarnation and atonement. In Jesus Christ He became a limited human being, vulnerable to suffering and death. On the cross, He submitted to our condition -- as sinners -- and died in our place to forgive us. In the most profound way, God has said to us, in Christ, 'I will adjust to you. I will change for you. I'll serve you though it means sacrifice for Me.' If He has done this for us, we can and should say the same to God and others. St. Paul writes, 'the love of Christ constrains us' (2 Corinthians 5:14).

"A friend of C. S. Lewis's was once asked, 'Is it easy to love God?' and he replied, 'It is easy to those who do it.' That is not as paradoxical as it sounds. When you fall deeply in love, you want to please the beloved. You don't wait for the person to ask you to do something for her. You eagerly research and learn every little thing that brings her pleasure. Then you get it for her, even if it costs you money or great inconvenience. 'Your wish is my command,' you feel -- and it doesn't feel oppressive at all. From the outside, bemused friends may think, 'She's leading him around by the nose,' but from the inside it feels like heaven.

"For a Christian, it's the same with Jesus. The love of Christ constrains. Once you realize how Jesus changed for you and gave Himself for you, you aren't afraid of giving up your freedom and therefore finding your freedom in Him."

-Timothy Keller, "The Reason for God"

Much Love, 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this is so good... Thank you for sharing this!


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