Another aspect of either/or thinking (see last week’s post) concerns Christians and how they (we) approach God and our lives in relation to him. Many think Christianity means we do our part and God does his. If we meet him halfway, will he reciprocate? Does our part involve praying and obeying, fulfilling his requirements and then and only then, will he answer our prayers, bless us and secure our salvation? Or is it as some have described marriage – 100% on both sides? How much of our life as Christians is active and how much is passive?
I must admit in my zeal to get away from my legalist past, I may have become a bit too passive in my way of thinking. I used to believe obedience was what God wanted most from me, but grace taught me he wants my heart more – a relationship built on love and trust. I may have begun to expect him to just change me without much, if any, effort on my part. But I’ve learned my transformation is not my part/his part, either/or, passive/active – it’s much more complex.
The interplay between God and humans, divine and physical, is way too complicated for us to understand and I can’t possibly explain it. All I really know is that Jesus loves us. But I’m also learning it’s both passive and active. His love is always and continually active in our lives. He is intimately involved in every moment, every breath, each trial and every joy. We can and should be active as well – actively receiving his love, participating in his life in us and in our transformation.
We can choose to be as active as we want; we can also be as passive as we want and sometimes it’s all we can do. Even though it’s both active and passive at the same time, this year, my word is choose – and I choose to be more active in my relationship with him, to not be just a passive recipient or expect him to do everything. My life and his are deeply intertwined and I don’t want to be a spiritual couch potato, but fully involved in the life of Christ.