Thursday, September 09, 2010

Crazy Love and a Quiet Life

I recently read Francis Chan's Crazy Love. I'm not a big fan of the book, if you care. Sometimes we get caught up in wanting to live an extraordinary life for Christ - to do something extraordinary for God - but at the heart of it, it is little more than vainglory. Or, sometimes our desire to "do something great for God" is little more than our desire to be someone great.

St John the Forerunner says, "He must increase and I must decrease."

Jesus says, "Love your neighbor as yourself," "love as I have loved you," and "love your enemies."

St Paul says, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands."

Mother Teresa says something like, "We can not do great things. We can only do little things with great love."

Maybe God is calling you to Africa or India - so go already. But it's more likely he isn't. Strive to be less, to be no one. Love your wife. Be gentle with your children. Go to Liturgy. Pray always. Judge no one.

When we love our enemy, love the crazy fool of a pastor who wants to burn Qur'ans, love the one who wishes us harm - then we have begun to be in communion with Christ. For it is Christ who loves these.


Hope said...

Thank you for this. To go quietly about in daily life is much harder than talking about doing great things for God or imagining that I am doing do. The daily life stuff takes the pressure off and is much more difficult to live.

alison said...

Singing my song.

Just thinking today, as I tightly held my hands in my lap rather than picking up a stick to poke in Paul's eye, that choosing to love, when hatred is so much more reasonable, is the boldest thing I can do.

Oswald Chambers wrote about it's not the big suffering that gets us but the day to day living. I can attest to that. It's not the guy who set fire to my house who gets me down, but the guy who cuts me off in traffic.

Writing about love is easier than loving annoying people.

kkollwitz said...

"We can only do little things with great love."

I'm reminded of changing my children's, and now my grandchildren's, dirty diapers.

You may be able to relate.

Hillbilly Rockin' Robin said...

Scott - I so apprecited yoru comment about Crazy Love, and I just read your post about the book. I agree with your view of living a quiet life - Amen to that. Nothing on earth is for our own glory - it is for His Alone. However, I do feel Chan's message is very needed in the American Christian church.

Are we really loving the least of these? The poor? The helpless? The hurting? The sick? The hungry?

After spending time with people fitting this description in our community, I can attest that overall the Christian church shuns them...makes many incorrect assumptions about them...and nearly every these people in our community has never received love in their life. For me, Chan's message challenged me to keep going even when it's hard.

Knowing you and Laura, you are doing all you can do right now! I don't think Chan's book was at all aimed as an admonision toward you. Reid and I hold the utmost admiration for both of you and say, "KEEP RUNNING THE RACE SET BEFORE YOU!"

I've realized there is nothing great we can do for God. However, I serve a great God who can do something great.

Anyway, the book challenged me and I was thankful to read it. I like it, Sam-I-Am. Love, A Sinner in TN

Scott Lyons said...

I agree with you, Robin, that Chan's message is needed in the American church. And to the people I've talked to (or whose blogs I've commented on) I would have better served them by being quiet. I don't do a good job of being quiet and letting the Holy Spirit move in and through people as he chooses. I am truly pleased that so many people have been blessed by Francis's book. That I have my differences with it is ultimately inconsequential.

Love you guys. Praying for you and your ENTIRE family.