Friday, September 20, 2019

Identity # 15 - Love Is the Measure of Our Identity

(Michigan International Speedway's Christmas Light Show)

"The measure of our identity, of our being (the two are the same), is the amount of our love for God. The more we love earthly things, reputation, importance, pleasures, ease, and success, the less we love God." 

Thomas Merton

The more things we love, the more our love, and hence, our identity, is dissipated. Our love, and our self, gets spread thin. We become dissipated among things that have no real value. "Then," wrote Merton, "when we come to die, we find we have squandered all our love (that is, our being) on things of nothingness, and that we are nothing, we are death."

Because we have wasted our lives; we have squandered our love.

Sometimes, when I read an obituary, I see that the deceased, John Doe, "loved to hunt and fish, and loved his sports teams." So, who was John Doe? He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and sports lover. Are these wrong? No. But if they are the things that define John Doe and nothing more, then how sad and meaningless a life he led. Especially if John Doe has been a Detroit Lions fan.

Merton wanted his life to be measured by his love of God, and from that, measured by his love for the least of His children.

Devote yourself fully to loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Out of this great love, discern how to dispense this love to others, in both word and action. 

You are what you love. (See here.)

My three books are:

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Encounters with the Holy Spirit (co-edited with Janice Trigg)

After a break I'll continue writing Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart.

Then, the Lord willing, Linda and I will write our book on Relationships.

Then: Technology and Spiritual Formation.