I wrote on this topic recently but I want to emphasize what may be the greatest advantage of being a God-follower. My hunch is that readers are good people. You don’t beat your wife, children, or dog. You may be more unselfish than selfish. You may even be more of moral person than me though I think about spiritual stuff all the time. But, abiding by the Law is expected. If you are on the fence being a God-follower, or seeking to be more spiritual though unclear about this God thing, let me suggest one extreme advantage of being such a person.
The greatest advantage of being a spiritual/God-follower is knowing and being secure with that good enough isn’t good enough.
Kids don’t always respond to our love. If only they know what kind of parents you had. Every wonder why your partner doesn’t seem to let stuff slide off their back, that is inevitable in a 24/7 relationship, like you do? Why aren’t your friends as interested in your life by asking the questions you ask them? Every wonder why your co-workers or boss don’t show you the same respect you try to show to them?
My wife is the kind of friend I want to be toward my friends. More than half of the time our problems are on me, but she isn’t perfect you know! I am not motivated to be as good as some other husbands; I want to be the husband I have always wanted to be despite the circumstances. I may call her out on behaviors that hurt, but I never forget how often I have failed her. God-followers are so influenced by their Creator’s perfect love for them that they are focused on showing the same boundless love toward others.
Spiritual people don’t have to just stuff their feelings away and pretend their kids, partner, friends, or co-workers actions don’t hurt them.
At the appropriate time take risks to share what you want in a relationship before having to walk away. It isn’t always wise to put ourselves in harm’s way by the way certain people act. If we are honest though, in many relationships we too don’t always act as loving as we think we should. People need patience or second changes or many relationships will never last.
How does one continually pursue this almost supernatural striving to be perfect rather than just being good enough?
Good parenting doesn’t always produce good citizens, but loving parents can increase the odds. Parents never forget what they wish their parents had done differently; they know they don’t get to live their lives through their children. They already had a chance to grow up. Some kids seek to please their parents for healthy reasons. They have a good amount of respect for their parents and trust they always have their best interest in mind. Because of such a relationship they don’t want to disappoint. Loving relationships inspire loving people.
God seeks to be the same kind of inspiring Parent.
God doesn’t seek adoration for ego reasons. God seeks our love and respect to provide comfort and security and empowerment to love others to the fullest despite the circumstances. God is no different than a selfless, uncontrolling parent who we come to trust always has our best interest in mind. God’s love is the perfect parental love we have always desired. God doesn’t have a controlling bone in their body.
God-followers seek to be world changers by striving to be the most loving person we can be. We don’t always assume excusing others’ behaviors is the most loving behavior. But, we can save many relationships because we aren’t focused on being as good as the other person or demanding others treat us perfectly or else! Personal failures don’t stop us, because our relationship with God entails mercy and patience. Spiritual people realize sometimes they may act like those they accuse.
Oh sure, we are good 85% of the time but is that who you want to be?