Loving and Serving God

2/27/10 at 7:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For the last serveral weeks, as my 3rd grade SS class has started Discipleland, I have started the class reviewing what we went over the first session:  what is most important in life?  After about 4 weeks I think they’re getting to the point of being able to say “loving and serving God” without me giving most of the answer.  After that point we review what the two “new” commandments Jesus gave us (loving God with heart-mind-soul and loving our neighbor) and who is our neighbor (one who needs help/mercy).  What I have not given them is the answer to “Why do it?”

With these young minds of mush, you need to repeat stuff and shape them until they start getting the hang of it, particularly if you only get them for an hour a week.  Lately I have been getting a feeling that I’m doing more brainwashing than teaching.  Asking “why”, though, opens up its own can of worms.  We can talk about serving God, worship, going to church and following all sorts of “religious” customs, but if we do not do it with a heart of love then we end up not serving willingly.  God does not want us to serve him out of a sense of guilt or duty, but a desire born of love.  I suppose there are some that serve out of a sense of penance or sacrifice for atonement.

It has taken me a long time to come to the realization that I beat myself up over my sins and misbehavior, that God is not whacking me upside the head with his holy 2×4.  He has patience (and I suppose He is disappointed) as He continues to hold out His hand if we reach out to Him.  I cannot expect to have victory over sin until I yield to the Lord – I cannot do it on my own.  When I reach out in love He is ready with a firm/gentle grasp, and I pray that he Lord allows me to serve Him in spite of my disobedience.

Well, I write this to help get my own thoughts in order before standing in front of a jury of my students.  I hope to undo any inclination that what we’re doing in Sunday school is brainwashing (they probably don’t have that idea but anyways…) so I can get them to think of the reasons we do the things we do, the choices we make in life and establishing a foundation for responsible/good decision making.  Tough to do in an hour/week.


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