Today’s Christians can be described in many different ways, both positive and negative. But I believe that one of the most applicable descriptors may be committed. Commitment is a good thing, and we are instructed in God’s Word to be committed to Christ. Let me ask you though, if you asked your spouse to describe your marriage in one word, what word would you hope to hear? What if he or she said, Oh, that’s easy, committed. Committed is not a bad word to describe a marriage, but is it the best word for an intimate, connected, and special union between two people? Committed is certainly one characteristic of a good marriage, but if that is the best description we have for a marriage then we may be missing the forest for the trees. I can think of three or four words I would much rather hear used to describe my marriage: beautiful, thrilling, passionate, intimate ... in love.
In the letters written to the first century church—the church that started right after Jesus’ resurrection, we see and hear about a relationship between God and us that is much more about being in love than being in service. It is much more about intimacy than about being committed out of a sense of duty. Love and service can be connected, but they should never be confused. Both my wife and I have had jobs in which we served others. She waited tables in high school and college. I mowed lawns. Yes, there was compensation for our efforts, but I didn’t love those whom I served. Now, my wife often sets the table at our house, serves our family food and clears away the dishes afterward—not because we pay her, but because she loves us. I often mow the lawn—not because anyone gives me a check, but because it is part of showing care and love for my home and family. That’s the difference between love and service:
Love can enable us to serve, but serving seldom makes us love.
An excerpt from Search and Rescue.