“…Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” Genesis 6:9 (NIV)
I admit it. I’m lazy. Sometimes I get overscheduled which leads to exhaustion and eventually to the response of, “Whatever you want to do…as long as it’s legal and not dangerous.” Then I regroup by sleeping too many hours (if have the time), watching too many movies, or vegging on the couch while the furniture collects dust and the dishes remain unwashed.
That’s an okay attitude to have once in a while if the only casualty is dust bunnies under the bed and takeout pizza a few times too many. However, God used the above scenario the other day to remind me that when it comes to my relationships with those who don’t know Him, complacency is far more dangerous with much more far-reaching consequences.
Some might ask me, “Why does it matter so much that those I love have a relationship with God? Why can’t I just leave them alone and respect their choice ?” I guess it boils down to love. When I became a Christ follower, it changed me. As I’ve grown closer to my Father, I find I continue to change. And I want those I love to experience that as well. Because it’s too good to hide or keep from those I love.
I don’t have the gift of evangelism, so others can explain this better than myself, but I speak so that my heart will be heard. It’s all about the love. God loved us so much He didn’t want anyone to die and spend eternity separated from Him. Yes, there are boundaries God wants us to stay inside and commands God expects us to follow when we choose His way. While some of them may be difficult to accomplish in our own strength, the more we grow to love God, the more we see His motivation behind His commands, His boundaries, and His rules.
It’s similar to that of a parent. We give our children rules to follow because we love them. God gives us rules to follow because He loves us even more. By following the rules, we will experience more joy, peace, and contentment than if we choose to do things our own way.
So, I desperately want those I love to make the choice to follow Christ not because I think I’m better than they are. No, it’s because what I’ve found in a real relationship with Him is something I don’t want to keep to myself, but I want to share with everyone I can. But, it’s ultimately their choice. God loves each of us so much He allows us to make our own choice. And, even though I won’t stop sharing when the moment presents itself, I also can’t make the choice for another.
I’m thankful God reminded me again how important it is to keep looking for opportunities to share His love with others. Sitting on the couch and letting dust bunnies grow won’t kill me. But there’s too much at stake if I sit too long and miss an opportunity God wanted me to take.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014