Monday, April 17, 2006

A Cure for Task-Driven People

Sometimes obscure passages and passing references can be the greatest antidotes.

For example, 2 Cor. 2:12-13 reads, "When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia." This verse completely perplexed me when I saw it this morning..."even though..."

No greater task exists than to preach the gospel, as Paul even says of his own life purpose in Acts 20:24. Is he contradicting himself? Is he saying, "loving people is more important than the gospel"? Absolutely not!!! There is no greater display of love that to seek others' joy in Christ for all eternity and today.

Rather here we find that Paul is not only interested in completing a task--the greatest of all tasks--but he desires the unity and fellowship of others. Most likely, from the context, Titus bore the response of the Corinthian church to Paul's first letter. Paul was jealous for their holiness, love, and fellowship in Christ. He love them. It's in the same spirit that he wrote 1 Thess. 2:8, "So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us."

We are very proficient at justifying our task-orientedness on the importance of our duty; of course, our tasks ultimately should be acts of love; yet, if they do not also carry the burden of our affections for others, we are left to ask, what is the value. NOT that this passage is anti-tasks--far from it. It is anti-tasks separated from genuine affections. (Of course, affections alone are useless too, being dead sentimentality). It smacks of 1 Cor. 13:1-4 which basically says that if I do anything--even die as a martyr--yet have not genuine love, I am nothing. So also, if I complete all my tasks and duties, but do not have the affection of Christ in my heart for another, I am nothing.

I read a vivid display of this unfortunate attitude recently, when I read the words from a church's sign, which said, "God loves you and wants to know you. There, now you can't say later that you didn't hear it." Yuck.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...