What Shapes You?
When we live a life shaped by rejecting uncomfortable commitments we end up vulnerable to a life shaped by destructive distractions. Destructive distractions come in every conceivable form and often first appear as reasonable responses. For example, when our commitment to the authority of God’s Word becomes uncomfortable because it exposes certain behavior as sinful, it can seem reasonable out of an abundance of love and compassion, to reject our commitment to upholding the complete authority of God’s Word. But in such a response we have allowed a destructive distraction, how we feel, to shape us. It is highly revealing that many will struggle to see how love and compassion for another could ever be a destructive distraction. Such a thing just feels so right. Love and compassion for others is good and biblical unless it is disconnected from a wisdom that accounts for consequences. Suppose there was a parent whose child really wanted to play in the street. Out of love and compassion for their child a parent may feel moved to acquiesce but an understanding of the possible consequences compels the parent to say no. The parent’s commitment to the child’s survival may have become an uncomfortable commitment but that is preferable to any alternative. We cannot disconnect from a path defined by God’s authority and hope to find what we are looking for. Rod Dreher shares something which might help, “The Puritan ideal was to use freedom to live by virtue, as defined by Christian Scripture; the modern American ideal is to use freedom to achieve well-being, as defined by the sacred individual …” Freedom, love, and compassion lose their true essence when they become more important than God’s sovereignty. In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love Me, obey My commandments.” Love for Christ as defined through a commitment to obedience to Christ shapes all other loves and shapes us to live embracing uncomfortable commitments rather than slowly die embracing destructive distractions. This is how you raise the bar on your discipleship.