Friday, June 20, 2008

Behavior vs. Relationship

"Dear Jesus, thank You for this food. We love You. Amen!" is often heard at our house before mealtimes. Usually, though, it sounds more like: "DearJesusthankYouforthisfoodweloveYouamen!" After Annabelle's "prayer" this morning, I said, "Now, let's take a minute and really talk to God." Ella Grace volunteered and prayed a slightly more thoughtful prayer. She finished and said something like, "God sure likes it when we talk to Him, huh?" "He does," was my response, "In fact, there is nothing He wants more than a relationship with you." As soon as the words left my mouth, the thought crossed my mind, "How often do I teach my kids something that I don't really believe?"

It may seem a little harsh to read that I don't really believe that God desires more than anything else a relationship with His creation--me. I believe it with my mind, with my words, intellectually, I believe it's what Scripture teaches. It's obvious that Adam and Eve were created to live in perfect fellowship with their Creator. When that didn't "go as planned", God sent a flood, then made a covenant with Abraham, then sent His only begotton Son. I see it, but I don't get it. I believe it in my mind, but not with my heart. I deny that belief daily with my actions.

Again, sounds a little harsh, huh? There's not really much in my life that you could say flies directly in the face of God. But, for much of my life, I've been focused on behavior. My behavior, other's behavior, my kid's behavior--and how that behavior indicates what I, or they believe about God. In fact, when someone said to me a few days ago: "Maybe, your focus should be on relationship more than behavior." My thought immediately was: "Oh yeah! If I focus on relationship then my behavior will change!" This may be true, but I don't think it was what my friend was driving at.

Not sure what it all means, or where to go from here. I'm not sure I've even got my mind around what it would look like to pursue relationship rather than good behaviors. I do know that it's a humbling realization that, yes, He really does want my love, my attention, my affection. Mine. In spite of my sinful, ugly heart--the one that He's forgiven--and now chooses not to see.

Your grace, Lord, Your grace is amazing!

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