Halfhearted Lessons and Wholehearted Obedience
Spending time outside with a toddler may be one of the best things on earth. Muddy boots of course need to get cleaned off. Sometimes a rug will not do the trick.
Next to the front door, there’s a fabulous shoe contraption. Have you used one of these before?
Step on one side, hold the wall to balance, scrape your boot through the brush area. Repeat with the other boot.
When I explained this concept to a toddler last year, I didn’t demonstrate with both boots. After that, the little gardener faithfully cleaned off one boot each time he came in.
It was a halfhearted lesson. I didn’t take into account the level of learning the little guy was at and as a result, he did exactly what I showed him - not knowing he should also clean off his other boot.
I Corinthians 11:1 (NIV) says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
There is comfort in knowing that Christ always gives the perfect example. He does not provide a halfhearted lesson.
Jesus Christ taught us that the two greatest commandments are to love God and to love people.
Matthew 22:37-39 tells us Christ’s response on the topic of the greatest commandment.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'”
Jesus doesn’t just say those words. He lives them out. He loves God completely. So much so, He willingly came to earth to take on the punishment we deserve. He loves us so much that He humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross. It was a brutal method of execution Rome used.
Jesus did not shy away from death. He surrendered.
What if Jesus gave a halfhearted example on loving God?
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”
As the final verses of I Corinthians 10, they directly lead up to Paul telling his readers to follow his example as he follows after Christ. Paul makes a bold statement in I Corinthians 10:31-33 and straight into I Corinthians 11.
Paul followed Christ. He did not seek to cause anyone to stumble, rather he sought their good. Why? He did this so they might be saved.
Are we seeking the good of others? Or are we secretly hoping they stumble? Let’s keep our eyes on the goal, that others, no matter who they are, might be saved. Let’s follow Christ.
Remember to clean both your gardening boots. You never know who might be watching.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your whole-heated lesson. You truly love God and you truly love people. Thank you for the example of other believers who are following after You. Please help me to set aside myself and to seek the good of others that they may be saved.
In Your Holy Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
When have you realized a lesson you gave was halfhearted?
How will others see you following Christ?
Where will you seek the good of others?