Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some thoughts on 'The Quiet Life'

It is interesting today that the moral life is often equated with filling your day with doing good.  To be moral, as many think, is to be in a constant state of activity of 'doing good'.  It is interesting since the two greatest commandments in the bible are commands to be, not to do.  Loving the Lord your God is first a call to a life of personal devotion and prayer and then a call to act.  Loving your neighbor is first a call to an attitude toward your neighbor and then a call act.  Good works (doing good) by will power and not out of pleasure is not part of the Christian tradition, but the Pharisaic tradition.  The Pharisaic tradition was quite impressive at keeping/doing commandments, but missed the whole thrust of the law which is first being a certain way and then doing out of that sort of heart.  The difficulty is that God demands all of our heart-mind-soul-strenght as his own, while we loves so little thus violating the whole of the law.  But, that is the meaning of the cross - that we receive what Christ deserves and he on the cross what we deserve.

The trust of what I'm getting at is that the quiet life is essential to the holy life.  Jesus himself spent much of his time in the quiet life - he went to remote regions - he went upon the sea - he withdrew from crowds seeking teaching.  If Jesus could not minister without the quite life, then how can we?  It is in a sense, knowingly or unknowingly, very prideful to think we could lead a holy life without the quiet life as even Jesus could not do this.

Billy Graham was asked if he was to redo his ministry what the most significant thing would change would be. He said that he would pray more and read more scripture and preach less. Often we can accomplish more in ministry by focusing more on being and less on doing. Sometimes we accomplish little because we try to do too much.
Post a Comment