Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stop Evaluating

I am not going to waste another minute of my life worrying about or measuring my spiritual progress. My mentor read me a Brennan Manning quote that spoke to this idea, and it really resonated with me.

See, I’m an evaluator. I like to evaluate how I am doing in all the categories of my life, and my spiritual life is no exception. In fact, it’s the most deadly form of evaluation.

For example, I love the Bible. For a long time the Bible intimidated me, and then one day in college I started reading it and it came alive to me. The words seemed to rise up off the page and scream, “This is for you, Ashley! I wrote this for you.” It connected the puzzle pieces of my life and made sense out of things I did not understand. I felt like I had discovered a secret treasure.

Then I started sharing it with others. First in casual conversations with my closest friends, and then eventually leading Bible studies for high school and college girls.

Sharing what I have learned from the Bible brings me so much life.

But, at some point I made my time in scripture a part of my evaluation. My spiritual report card hinged on if I had spent time reading the Bible or not. Soon one of my favorite things became an obligation not a gift.

Maybe it started with the day I learned the phrase “Quiet Time” because it sounds like being sent to time out. And that’s what it felt like: “You’re sentenced to 30 minutes of Quiet Time.” Ugh.

So, what’s the answer? Stop reading my Bible? No. Stop evaluating.

Our system of evaluating is not at all how God sees us.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
 neither are your ways my ways,” 

declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- Isaiah 55:8-9

  Because here's the thing....
Brennan Manning - Ruthless Trust 

We are free to enjoy a relationship with God without weird expectations that we put on ourselves.

He just says,

“Come, all you who are thirsty, 
come to the waters;

and you who have no money, 
come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk 
without money and without cost.  
Why spend money on what is not bread, 
and your labor on what does not satisfy? 

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.  
Or more simply put, just, “Come to me.” 

1 comment:

  1. i like it Ash. especially your use of the descriptive word "weird" on the word expectations. :) keep up the posting!