Thursday, January 22, 2009

Comment on Obedience

I posted this as a comment on someone else's blog about obedience.

When I went home for Christmas, we had a pretty heated debate about obedience in sunday school (with all of the old army men, country folk, and ex-Baptist preachers). Some people were of the opinion that it is better to obey half-heartedly than not to obey at all. Others thought that begrudging obedience counts for nothing. Overall, there was a lot of interesting discussion that I got a lot out of.

Our actions are a) reflections of our thoughts/fruits of our beliefs and/or b) practice for what we want our thoughts/beliefs to be.

Say there is a service project. Ideally, we should want to go out of the goodness of our hearts in order to serve our fellow men. More likely, we go because we WANT to be the kind of person who serves from the heart, even if we’re not necessarily there yet. Or, we go to see our friends, be social, show off how righteous we are, etc. Or, we go because we are forced/feel some sense of duty, and hate it the entire time. Or, we don’t go at all.

I think, in this situation, going to the service project only does you any good if you are in the first two categories. Going either reflected that you have a good heart or is your way of trying to better your heart. Otherwise, you don’t get anything positive out of it.

If we are to be judged on our hearts, and not our actions, then our actions are pretty pointless if we don’t believe in what we’re doing. If we don’t love our fellow man, all the service in the world isn’t going to make up for that. If we use our actions as practice for becoming better people, then of course it is better to be obedient even if we aren’t necessarily in the mental state that we think we should be in. But if we aren’t attempting to make progess… then our actions are fairly pointless.

That’s what I got out of the discussion, anyways. And a lot of it rang really true to me.

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