Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Only Thing That Counts

I flipped open my Bible to Galatians yesterday, and began reading. I stumbled upon a verse that I had ironically enough already underlined, yet had no recollection of ever seeing before. Galatians 5:6 says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." It blew my mind. The only thing that counts?

This verse just may summarize my calling and life goal :) Paul doesn't say that the only thing that counts is love. He also doesn't say that faith is all that counts. It is the two working together - faith spurring love to be an action, an expression, of the love God has placed in our hearts. And that love doesn't come from just anywhere. The love that we are to show comes from a strong faith in our own hearts: faith in a God of love. The two, faith and love, are intricately connected and undoubtedly intertwined. Hebrews says that faith is "being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." That hope and certainty should be of a loving God and of a world that operates as he originally intended it... so with that faith, we can use our own love to begin to work towards that vision.

Sometimes terms like "faith" and "hope" and "love" seem too abstract for me to put into practice in my own life. I can be initially attracted to such romantic terms, and even strive towards an indistinct end goal of faith or hope or love. But that is why I'm loving God's word more and more every day. As I seek to have Him guide my life every day, I realize that hidden away in His book are pretty tangible and practical applications for faith and hope and love to occur in our own daily lives. Faith is hope and certainty in the God of love who we can't quite see. And that faith will be expressed through love. God himself IS love. If we know God, and know His love, then our faith in Him will only be able to produce an outpouring of love as a result. And that's all that counts.