I want to please God. I want to be a better Christian, but I often aim to accomplish it at His expense. “Checklist, please,” I say, hand outstretched. I mean well, but underneath the good intentions lies a not-so honorable desire for proof that I’ve done well. A need to have the checklist in my back pocket so that, if necessary, I can pull it out and confirm that I’m everything I’m supposed to be.
But relationship isn’t checklist-centered. It’s heart-given. The act of extracting something of myself to give to the object of my affection is the nature of love. It’s the spontaneous, hand-picked flowers clutched in a child’s fist. Not a requirement, but an offering. It’s the folded laundry. Not a chore but a service. It’s time spent in conversation. Not a duty but an honor. It’s centered in the crucifixion. God doing what He didn’t need for those of us who did need it.
When I ask God what He wants me to dooooooo, He replies like my husband does. “Just love me.” No checklist. No evaluation that says, “needs improvement.” Just a simple reply that’s up to me to live out. I do it best when I study Him then dig deep into myself for an offering. It’s not always easy to find the fresh, but it doesn’t always have to be. Sometimes, it’s reviving the forgotten that restores the twinkle in the eye. Sometimes, it’s putting a spin on the familiar. Sometimes, it is, indeed, the untried with its vulnerabilities. And sometimes, it can be a costly demonstration that comes with twinges of pain. Love and how it is expressed is limitless. Whether it is communicated through the simple, the spontaneous, or the sacrificial, love will always be selfless because love is the gift of the giver. Love is the giving of me.
Tip/tidbit: How do you choose to show God and others that you love them? How do you give yourself to demonstrate that love?