The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1Timothy 1:5
I think we all want to live a productive Christian life, but I wonder how often our attempts to do so focus on what we “ought to do” instead of living a life that responds out of a love that “wants to do.”
We know what we ought to do or not do. We ought to practice spiritual disciplines of bible study and prayer and there are several choices we ought not to make, right? But if the “ought” is our focus, we will invariably drift toward some sense of duty or obligation that leads to legalism and differs very little from the rules of religion.
Instead, Jesus asks us to love God and love others. We know from human experience that a heart motivated in love willing makes choices that honor another person. Parents love their children and they act out of that love. When spouses love each other they do the same.
Love doesn’t require a list. We want to do what we ought.
What freedom would we experience if we pursued and cultivated a love for God? While our actions might not differ greatly (we would still spend time in worship and prayer and study of God’s word), the motivation of our heart would be one of a passionate pursuit.
What defines your relationship with God today? May our “ought to” become “want to.”