What Does Your Love Look Like?

This week we’re talking about wholehearted commitment– what it looks like, what the Bible says, and how we can go “all in” with our faith. I’m going to touch on three areas which specifically highlight why God desires this for our lives. On Monday, we explored the WIIFM mentality and how it’s so seductive in today’s society. Today, Part 2. Hope you enjoy reading!

Most of us want a balanced life that we can control, that is safe, and that does not involve suffering. Would you describe yourself as totally in love with Jesus Christ? Or do the words half-hearted, lukewarm, and partially committed fit better? Lukewarm faith is prevalent, no doubt. I’ve been in that boat (head faith vs. faith lived out) and don’t want to get back in. In fact, John talks about “lukewarm” when he speaks about the church in Laodicea:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Rev 3:15-16)

Let’s put it this way: have you ever sipped lukewarm coffee? It’s nasty. Most of the time it is spit-it-from-your-mouth nasty! That is the picture that is painted in the above passage. Like the coffee, God feels that way about being lukewarm. Instead of this lackluster, tepid and half-hearted living, He wants lives that are radical, unbalanced, and overboard. Those three words characterize what wholehearted commitment looks like.

In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan challenges the lukewarm person with the some of the following questions:

  • Do you find yourself more often than not, choosing what is popular over what is right?
  • Do you desire to fit in both at church and outside of church?
  • Do you care more about what people think of your actions than what God thinks of your hearts and lives?
  • Are you moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet you don’t act?
  • Do you think doing what God says in His word is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones?
  • Do you rarely share your faith with your neighbors and friends because you don’t want to be rejected or make people feel uncomfortable?

I’ll be honest: I am a people-pleaser. It’s hard for me to say no when people ask things of me. So caring what people think of my actions (rather than what God thinks of my heart) is something that challenges me the most.

Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers. Chances are, at times you may feel lukewarm. We are all flawed human beings, but there is a difference between a life that is characterized by these sorts of habits and a life that is in the process of being radically transformed. I want the latter!

What does your love look like? Instead of a complacent existence, let’s chose to be radical. Let’s chose to live an unbalanced and overboard life for Christ.

Which one of Chan’s questions resonates with you the most?

 

48 Comments

  • Moe

    April 6, 2011

    Did you know that doctors use lukewarm water to cause vomiting? Interesting! Cold and hot drinks are all acceptable in their own context but never lukewarm. That causes a gagging that leads to puking your insides out.

    As far as the questions from Chan, this one rocks me:
    Are you moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet you don’t act?

    I need to do more. Nuff said!

    Reply
    • Alex Humphrey

      April 6, 2011

      Wow, I had no idea about the doctor thing. It really puts an interesting spin on what Jesus said.

      I wonder sometimes what it means to “do more.”

      What I mean is, can I be radically proclaiming the gospel as a normal father and husband who loves his wife the way Christ loves the church and takes care of his children as God took care of Israel? And can I work hard no matter what the job because I am a servant like Christ was a servant.

      All those things feel mundane, boring, and non-radical and yet in our society they are some of the most extreme. Fathers abandon their wives and children regularly. And isn’t everyone suppose to check facebook at work?

      This isn’t a shot at anything you said, Moe. And this certainly isn’t a shot at Dustin. It is just what this post and your comment have brought forward to my mind.

      I guess what I’m saying is: Moe, I think you already are radical for Christ. Just not in a “almost got gunned down in China for handing out Bibles” sort of way. lol

      Reply
      • Dustin

        April 7, 2011

        alex, interesting perspective for sure. love the insight. so often we classify “radical” as the crazy, almost-killed, insane story that is newsworthy. but sometimes radical behavior is simply going against the flow, Bible-obeying behavior.

        Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      lukewarm induces vomiting? very interesting!
      such a challenging question as we hear about radical stories all the time….

      Reply
      • Esther

        July 19, 2016

        Ashley – Welcome!! thank you for visiting!! I was 100% sure my eyes were deceiving me when I saw that drive thru daiquiri stand, like a mirage. & I can see why you miss them – th1;#&82e7yre amazing! I hope you’re liking Illinois, so far. [it’s an adjustment for ME, and I’m originally from Iowa]. Thank you again for stopping by!! xo :)

        Reply
  • mo

    April 6, 2011

    #3. There are a lot of “actions” in my life, and it’s easy to let them overshadow my relationship with God. The worst is when I’m trying to model a behavior for someone else, and catch myself demonstrating the wrong thing.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      sometimes we make what we do more important than what we believe. me so guilty at times.

      Reply
  • Jason Vana

    April 6, 2011

    I’m a lot like you – I am a people pleaser. There are a lot of times I say yes to things that I don’t really want to do, just because I don’t want to let someone else down or have them be mad at me. I’ve definitely been working on it, and have gotten better than I used to be, but if I’m not careful, I care more about what others think than what God thinks.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      Gal 1:10 is kinda like a life verse… check it out. Perfect little word for people pleasers like us, Jason. :)

      Reply
  • Jon

    April 6, 2011

    I would say the third and sixth one because they go hand in hand. Like you, I am a huge people pleaser. I like to help people out, and I want people to like me. Hence, I try to make myself look good and/or avoid those uncomfortable situations. I loved Crazy Love …it impacted me in a huge way, and this post was a great reminder. I want to fall in that latter group, too!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      I’m with ya Jon. And yes, CL was one of those books for me where I feel it’ll just stay on my nightstand for years to come because I’ll always want to go back to it.

      Reply
  • Donald Borsch Jr

    April 6, 2011

    D,

    >>Which one of Chan’s questions resonates with you the most?

    #2. Do you desire to fit in both at church and outside of church?
    ————————–

    The answer is NO to both of these options. I will throw down my Pauline card and cite:

    “I have become all things to all men in the hopes that some might be saved.”

    To accomplish this, it is not that I will “fit in” to the church or to the world, but instead to The LORD’s calling. Neither the church (man made) or The World can claim ownership over me.

    And yes, people within the church (man made) need to be saved, as well.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      Donald, interesting thoughts. The Lord’s calling has to trump all things, right? Ultimately its what matters… not what the ‘church’ or the ‘world’ says.

      Reply
  • Johon

    April 6, 2011

    The 3rd question resonates most with me. While I do care what God thinks about my heart and actions, it seems like what bothers me more is what everyone else would think. Maybe that’s an abuse of grace. Like I know God will still love me no matter how screwed up I am sometimes.

    Reply
    • John

      April 6, 2011

      And for some reason the comment form had my name as “Johon.” Don’t know where that extra “o” came from… I’m JOHN. Ha.

      Reply
      • Dustin

        April 7, 2011

        Johon is cool too. Maybe that can be your nickname around here :) Thanks for sharing man!

        Reply
  • Joseph

    April 6, 2011

    I don’t desire to “fit in” with the outside world. But it is a struggle sometimes to be around friends you have known for years or people you work with who are not christians. You want to be a friend to them but at the same time it’s difficult to be around their actions and words (Not always pleasant!). I can only hope that I’m an example to them when I’m around them. That they see Christ through me and will one day want the same in their life. It’s a struggle sometimes but I feel I handle the situation well. You just have to be careful that you influence them and not the other way around.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      I know what you mean: there has to be a balance for sure. What goes in comes out!

      Reply
  • Adam

    April 6, 2011

    #3 For me. I want to please everyone and not let anyone down. I really have to keep an eye on this because it could lead me to what pleases man instead of what is pleasing to God.
    #4 as well. I have been reading the book Radical by David Platt that talks about having a Radical faith. Really helpful and would highly recommend it!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      You’re like the 50th person to recommend Radical this week. Funny. I’ll have to check it out – thanks, Adam.

      Reply
  • Jk Alen

    April 6, 2011

    What up Dustin!

    It’s been a busy week. But every week is that way!

    Of the question, I think the following best fits me:

    Do you rarely share your faith with your neighbors and friends because you don’t want to be rejected or make people feel uncomfortable?

    To be clear, I make it a point to share my faith, but I’m careful at over-promoting it because in my experience it sends people away. Not from me, but from adapting this way of life. It’s a thin thine…and one I have to get more comfortable with.

    Any ideas?

    Greatness defines this place!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      Thanks, Jk – I really appreciate your comments!

      There has to be a balance for sure, but I feel we should never compromise truth and integrity for the sake of making sure we don’t rock the boat. I’ve found that living life, and living out your faith sometimes speaks volumes. Whether that is serving someone, giving up your time, calling someone with encouragement, etc…

      Reply
      • Jk Allen

        April 8, 2011

        I hear you on that Dustin. Thanks for the reply…and I must say that I agree. I appreciate you making me think.

        Happy Friday!

        Reply
  • Ben

    April 7, 2011

    #6 for me all the way, and I used to feel guilty about it until I started changing my mind, and inviting them (neighbors) into our lives. What an amazing difference it has made. They’re clear on where we are in re: to our faith, and nobody is uncomfortable. It’s awesome.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      that is really cool, ben. i think there is something real special about inviting other people into your lives. i’ve experienced that (being invited) years ago and have seen how much of an impact that can make.

      Reply
  • Jim F

    April 7, 2011

    Do you care more about what people think of your actions than what God thinks of your hearts and lives?

    This is the one because it has been on my heart recently and actually blogged about it today. I have been there worrying about others and what they thought rather than being occupied with what God thought. Sad but true.

    Good Post!

    Congrats on the new addition to the family!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      thanks, jim – appreciate the ‘congrats’!

      i’ll be checking up on the blogs i’ve been missing these last few days, so i’ll be looking forward to checking yours out!

      Reply
  • Marlee

    April 7, 2011

    Hey Dustin,
    It’s funny that your posts and my quiet times have been so timely. Today, my prayer was to love God radically. My husband is reading the book Radical right now and he shared a story with me about a man who had nothing – not a place to live, no food to eat, just the clothes on his back.

    Yet when asked why he had so much joy he could only respond with, because I know God. That hit me so hard, because in our privileged lives we always want more, yet for a man with nothing God’s love is more than enough. To me that is what it means to NOT be lukewarm. I think when you have that kind of love for God, the other things don’t become an issue.

    I think our difficulty is that we live in a world that is constantly trying to pull our attention away from all that God has to offer us, which ultimately requires that we discipline ourselves to keep our minds set on him.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      >>> “we live in a world that is constantly trying to pull our attention away from all that God has to offer us”

      That is where it’s at! So true. God deserves our attention and praise, and so many things compete for it on a daily basis.

      Reply
  • Justin

    April 7, 2011

    This one always gets me!
    “Do you rarely share your faith with your neighbors and friends because you don’t want to be rejected or make people feel uncomfortable?”

    Fear is the biggest reason why I don’t do this more often. Fear of rejection.

    Have you read Forgotten God? Chan’s 2nd book on the Holy Spirit? It’s another heart-checker!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 7, 2011

      No, I haven’t read Forgotten God, but I’ve heard good things about it. A friend of mine read a few passages out of the book (or short quotes) and I definitely got the feel that it was a “heart check” kinda book. :)

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    April 7, 2011

    ◦Are you moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet you don’t act?

    This one–definitely this one. It’s because of my aversion to risk. Continually getting better, though.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 10, 2011

      I’m with ya matt, my aversion to risk is one that holds me back at times as well.

      Reply
  • Bryan Thompson

    April 7, 2011

    Dustin – I LOVED “Crazy Love!” I actually am leading a spiritual growth class at my church and we’re going through the DVD series – which goes hand in hand with the book. Just incredible insight. And what an incredible personal story he has.

    What gets my attention here is that I – like you – am a people pleaser and am often more interested with what others think of my actions than how God views me. I can get so hard on myself for not being good enough or doing enough. The truth is that God doesn’t require ANY of that from me!

    Thanks for sharing this, buddy!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 10, 2011

      sure thing, thanks for the comment bryan. loved crazy love as well.

      so true… he doesn’t require any of that from us. thank you for that!

      Reply
  • Sean Sabourin

    April 8, 2011

    Dustin,

    Great post. Loved the book as we did it as a study for our small group. Out of the 6 statements there are a couple which resonate within me but the one that stands out is #6

    Do you rarely share your faith with your neighbors and friends because you don’t want to be rejected or make people feel uncomfortable?

    It is not that I don’t share my faith, but rather I am concerned with not wanting to make people feel uncomfortable. I know this is an area which God is dealing with me on a heart level. Thanks for stirring things up in me( I mean it).

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 10, 2011

      you’re welcome sean. I know what you mean. it’s not that i’m opposed to it… its just that sometimes i let my “fearful that i’m going to rock the boat” dictate how i act at times.

      Reply
  • Lizzie

    April 8, 2011

    Great post that really made me think! My name means “Devoted to God,” so full-hearted committment/devotion is something I’ve thought a lot about. And failed at a lot!

    I am a total people pleaser most of the time, so “Do you care more about what people think of your actions than what God thinks of your hearts and lives?” struck home the most.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 10, 2011

      thanks, Lizzie – thanks again for stopping by and commenting. sounds like a lot of folks (myself included) find that question pretty challenging…in a good way. :)

      Reply
  • Tom Raines

    April 8, 2011

    Wonderful post Dustin. This has been one of my thorns in the flesh as well. Although much better in Christ I have found I still slip back into too much concern for what others think. Thanks for the reminder!!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 10, 2011

      you’re welcome, tom. “much better in Christ” … isn’t that true with everything? :)

      Reply
      • Bertha

        July 19, 2016

        Gitti, no final está assim:“Isso é tão difícil. Mas não venha me dizer que pratica “sexo tÃi&tr¢co”…n#8221;Não seria “Isso não é tão difícil…”?

        Reply
  • Adam

    April 9, 2011

    I think questions 3 and 6 for me. Especially for #6 its way easy for me to justify why I don’t actually share my faith with the “if they see how i live my life it can be an example of Christs love” which is true… in part. But if i never actually share the reason I live my life this way then they will actually never hear of the Good News, and what Christ has done for me.

    trying to justify is so silly because I think in my own messed up head that God is cool with that. ugh.. its so frustrating. But yet i have seen the times when I have shared my whole story with people and what God has walked us through so I know how to do it.. I just need to be more consistent in my faith.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      April 10, 2011

      Adam, there is something special about each one of our stories. And God can and definitely will use our experiences to make a difference in the lives of others. Even in just your blog, some of the posts about your family and kids… they are inspiring. Keep doing what you’re doing!

      Reply
    • Johnetta

      July 19, 2016

      Taking the ovwrviee, this post hits the spot

      Reply
    • kredit vr bank münchen land

      November 12, 2016

      – This made me a bit sad just because now we have a ‘big one’ and a ‘little one’; the little one makes me realize how fast the big one grew, how soon he will be her size, and how soon neither of them will fit in the recliner with me!

      Reply
    • SÃ¥ flotte bilder!Ã… sÃ¥ fine og STORE!!! Blomsterbildene dine var jo vakre, og skyene dine i dag ogsÃ¥!Ønsker deg en kjempefin helg!Klem fra chatrine:)

      Reply
    • cost of a maybach

      March 17, 2017

      Sarò sincera, mi mancano i capodanni dei primi 2000 a fare casino puro con gli amici, ma, tolto il fatto che quella compagnia non esiste più, non credo di potermelo più permettere, ormai dopo una certa ora ho pure sonno :|

      Reply

Leave a Reply