Friday, July 19, 2013

Faith Muscle Rehabilitation

If anyone has been bed ridden or sedentary after a long illness or bad injury, often they will need some sort of physiotherapy to rehabilitate their muscles. After not being used, muscles atrophy and it can be difficult to make them function normally and with any degree of strength again. I noticed it when I was pregnant and had a long bout of morning sickness that left me bed ridden for a couple of months. Afterwards I found it difficult to do even simple things because my legs were so weak, let alone more strenuous exercise. I didn't do much in particular to strengthen my muscles again due to a combination of laziness and preoccupation with a new baby, but I probably should have. It's taken the better part of a year to feel back to normal, whereas with proper exercises and training it may have only taken a couple of months.

Our faith & love muscles have atrophied. I feel like I'm harping on about the negatives of the western world, but I think out insulated lives have a lot to answer for when it comes to our faith, or lack of it.

I'm not discounting anyone's suffering - there's a lot of very real pain no matter where you are in the world. I just mean that there's a lot we can turn to and rely on before we consider God as our best and only option. It's very easy and all too tempting to become self centred, for life to become all about us and how people treat us, and what others do for us.

We don't have all that much opportunity to exercise our faith and love. Not in real, deep, til-it-hurts kinds of ways. Our faith and love are languishing and need some rehabilitation. We need to start actively seeking ways to use them, and it needs to go beyond the day to day.

Sure, buy someone some flowers. That's nice. But it will be a long slow road to powerful love if that's the extent of our exercise.

If we want real change, real heart revival, real and powerful faith, we need a bit of hardcore physiotherapy. Something that extends us, challenges us, maybe even hurts a little.

Jesus didn't go around giving people flowers and writing get well cards. He healed them.

'They'll know we are Christians by our love' doesn't mean 'by how nice we are'. The love of God goes hand in hand with power.

We need to exercise the love of God in us - we are not meant to be so weak and feeble when it comes to faith and love. And we can't do it alone either. The body is meant to work together. The hand can't move without the arm. What use is a strong foot without a strong leg?

Time for some serious love rehab.

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