In Sunday School I was taught to love others by doing nice things for them.  Which is good I guess- but then again that set me up to believe that doing things had something important to do with love.

I wish someone would have taught me how to let myself be loved instead.

Because letting yourself be loved is a hell of a lot harder than doing nice things for people.

I’ve found that a faith based on doing nice things for people doesn’t amount to much more than self-righteousness masquerading as compassionate activism.

But what if God is more interested in us letting Him love us- than He is in us loving each other?  And what would the impact of letting God love us have on our ability and capacity to love each other?

It’s not that I don’t want to do nice things for people, so much as that it puts me in an awkward position of thinking my role in life is to remove resistance, obstacles and pain from the lives of others.  As if I bare the responsibility for setting right all the wrongs in the world, serving as some sort of agent for a Divine Accountant.

I’m not suggesting we should stand back and watch others seriously harm themselves or others.  I find that to be irresponsible and cowardly.  I’m talking about being able to discern between there being a time to intervene in someones life, and there being a time to quietly sit still with them amidst their struggles.

I’m not sure what the ratio of intervention to quietly sitting is meant to be, but if I’m honest, my current ratio skews violently away from quietly sitting with others.

What if this world, and our lives in it, are perfectly designed to fail?  And what if it is in such failures that we are able to catch a glimpse of just how much we are loved?

Because when we celebrate in our successes, we often celebrate alone on mountain tops.  But when we are met face to face with our failures, imperfections and limitations, we start to see how not alone and just like everybody else we really are.

So even while I remain addicted to doing nice things in effort to please a god that isn’t real, I acknowledge that I want to be known as more than just a nice little boy.

I want to be known as a brave little bastard who dares to live like he is loved by God.

Because letting yourself be loved is a hell of a lot harder than doing nice things for people.

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