What’s the least I can do in this relationship?

In his book Eternity is Now in Session, John Ortberg has a helpful illustration that teaches us something about faith in Christ:

Let’s say I get married to someone, exchange vows, and pledge to journey with them through life. But what if that night, after the celebration, I ask, “Honey, what is the least I can do in this relationship to stay married to you?”

How do you think that would go?

Not very well!

When it comes to faith, isn’t that what we sometimes do? We live by the ‘minimum requirements.’ It’s as if we ask: “Jesus, what is the least I can do in this relationship with you?”

Relationships like that falter and fall apart.

But when we invest in them, and take our love and commitment seriously, they strengthen and grow.

1 John 2:3 says, “We know that we have come to know [Jesus] if we keep his commands.” A healthy relationship with Christ involves (a) taking your faith seriously, (b) knowing what his commands are, and (c) trying to keep them.

It’s pretty straightforward, actually.

-Do you take your faith seriously? If so, great. (If not, you should.)
-Do you know what is commands are? If so, wonderful. (If not, learn them.)
-Do you try to keep them? If so, you rock. (If not, start.)

Look at the above list. Be honest with where you’re at. And take the next step.

Don’t approach faith with a ‘minimum requirement’ frame of mind. Those relationships falter and fall.

Instead, approach it with true love.

By Matthew Ruttan

—“Who goes where? (And who decides?)” is Part 4 in the Heaven and Hell series. Click here to listen to the podcast.
—Bible quotes are from the New International Version.

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