Expected Reading Time: 6 minutes
Growing up, our family watched Home Improvement, a TV-show staring Tim Allen, an inept handy man and TV-show host. If you’ve never seen it, it’s hilarious! Tim is married with 3 kids, has a flannel loving co-host and a quirky neighbor. In one of the episodes, Tim and his wife Jill get into an argument because she wants him to clean the kitchen more. He eventually helps out of obligation but isn’t happy about it, and shows it! As the scene continues, Jill is still mad at Tim because he has a bad attitude toward cleaning. They erupt into a fight and Tim yells, “What do you want from me? I’m cleaning the dishes like you want!” Jill retorts, “I don’t want you to just help me clean the kitchen! I want you to want to clean the kitchen!” Tim, dumbfounded, replies, “Why would I want to clean the kitchen?” Tim does have a point, but that’s neither here nor there!
Surprisingly, I find myself relating to Jill in that scene, though not for obvious reasons. For a quite a while I’ve become increasingly frustrated whenever I hear people say, “I know I should read my bible more.” or something similar. As if we have some moral obligation or duty to earn God’s favor. My question to you is this: How much should we be reading? Here is another question: Do you think God cares how much you think you should read? I have a sneaking suspicion… I don’t think he cares. You know what I think God cares about way more than how much you should read the bible? Why you read it.
God cares more about why you do what you do then he does what you actually do.
Christianity loses its meaning when out of obligation we mindlessly conform to the restraints we’ve created for it. That is called following a set of rules for the sake of what you get at the end. Are we seeking some prize? Is that what this is all about? The big pie in the sky? Sorry, I thought we were here to pursue a loving relationship with Jesus so that we could quite literally have the best possible life now. Do I live for eternity? Yes. But do I have a really great time loving Jesus right now? Heck yes!
God is more concerned with your heart. He doesn’t want you to read your bible, pray, go to church, bible study, etc. for the sake of duty. He wants people to fall in love with him and seek to know him more. He doesn’t simply want you to know him; he wants you to want to know him. It’s the same for a married couple. I would never get my wife flowers and say, “It’s Valentine’s Day, and I know I should get these for you because it looks like that’s what all the other husbands are doing.” She wouldn’t care much for the “gift”.
God wants you to want to know him.
Do you want to know him? There was a long time when I really didn’t care enough. I wanted to want him. But I didn’t want him. So I started praying God would make my heart alive in him. Maybe you ought to do the same. It’s ok to be where you’re at, but it’s not ok to stay where you’re at. Move beyond obligation to an authentic, loving relationship with God.