I said a few weeks ago that I was learning to appreciate running and that I'm not yet loving running, though I am loving the effects of it. True enough, as I see the subtle changes in my body, mood, and attitude I am happy to be running. I even love the opportunity to be alone for a few minutes, with nothing scheduled - just me and the road I'm walking on. But it all boils down to one simple fact: I still don't like running.
Last night I had a thought: is my faith the same? Do I love Christ or just the results of loving Christ? It almost hurt to be so honest with myself. Could it be possible that after all these years I just love the effects of my faith? Please accept these next few thoughts in the manner in which they were intended...
***Do I follow Christ because it makes me a "better" person? (Not better than anyone else, but better than the sinful me.)
***Do I follow Christ because it gets me into heaven?
***Do I follow Christ because it protects me from the dangers of the world? (Won't ever make a stupid drunken decision because I don't drink. Won't ever get an STD because I'm in a faithful marriage. Etc.)
These are just a few of the results that I considered. Or, and I hope, do I love Christ for who He is? Do I love Christ just for the sake of loving Christ? I can tell you honestly - If running didn't help me become the person I want to be, I would not run. God forgive me if I ever feel the same way about Him.