“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before…either into a creature that is in harmony with God,…or into one that is in a state of war with God. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
People talk about being carbon neutral. It’s all the rage right now. The big buzzword of the year. I really don’t think this is possible even with our best efforts. We are always consuming something and there will always be a certain amount of waste no matter what we do. We can try to even out the score a bit by recycling or reusing or changing our habits to a degree but ultimately there will always be some amount of waste, meaning that even at our best, we are never truly neutral with regards to our consumption, reuse and output of waste.
I was reading this weekend in the book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp about this very concept. About the Godward orientation of our childrens’ hearts.
Our children, as we ourselves, are never neutral before God. We are always bowing to something or someone. The point in the book is that we, as parents, ought to be seeking out ways to communicate to our children what the current orientation of their hearts are and ways that we might encourage the direction if it is properly alligned or help to recalibrate it if the spiritual compass is not pointing due north in worship and worshipful living.
I love this book because it is constantly reminding me that my position before God is very like my childrens’ positions before him. Our brotherhood/sisterhood in Christ trumps the parent child relationship that we enjoy. I’m always encouraged when reading this book that I ought to be recalibrating my own position before God before I try and recalibrate theirs. If I do not have a proper Godward orientation, I will be of no help to them in the spiritual wilderness of their childhood faith.
Neutrality is impossible. Either we are bowing at the feet of the one true God or we are making for ourselves an idol at whose feet we intend to bow. Some people might strive to live in a perfect balance where they feel they are giving God a portion, themselves a portion, others a portion. Ultimately striving to live in neutrality though, is going to leave us feeling wasted and depleted more than anything. We must be seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness and the other things that we so readily worship will, if they are glorifying to him, be given to us as well that we might serve him with them.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Luke 16:12-14 says, “And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.”
If only this were just about money though. I confess I long for things that aren’t necessarily of God. They aren’t bad things in and of themselves but when they become something that I strive towards as an end rather than a means to an end, that end being to glorify God and enjoy Him, I am serving them as an idol. It cannot be wrong for us to pursue goals of all kinds, unless they are intrinsically sinful and are not profitable for service to God. But if we strive to attain personal goals merely for personal contentment or self-satisfaction, they are then becoming that which we serve rather than that with which we serve.
If you would like to participate in this In Other Words go to the host’s blog, Fruit in Season.