One disadvantage, if there are any, of “growing up Christian” is that profound scriptural truths can become clichés we take for granted before we really understand what they mean. One such phrase is “do it in God’s strength, not your own.” We’re on sound biblical footing with this: “. . . whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—” (1 Peter 4:11). ‘Tired?’ we ask. ‘Well, you’re trying to do it all on your own strength, just rely on God’s strength.’ (If I had an hour for every time that’s been said to me concerning my duties I’d have time to do them all and bake bread from scratch.) But increasingly I’ve had the question what does that mean?Read More
In the same way, when I do my duty, I am helped to go on doing it. Why is it easier to obey once we begin? Is it that we are made creatures of habit—and this is turned to good account when the habits we build into our lives are faithful ones? Is it that we somehow actualize or demonstrate our faith by acts of obedience, however small, and God (the one who rewards those who seek him) then comes to our aid?Read More
Just a question: When did “duty” become a dirty word?
We laugh, admitting that sometimes we tell our children to obey “because I said so” as though it is a silly and unreasonable response—when surely shouldn’t it be considered, coming from parent to child, as a full answer? Whenever the word “ought” was struck from our working vocabulary (for struck it has been) we lost something precious: a big, basic building block from the foundations of faithfulness.Read More