Performance by JW Kaiser
What if the waves tomorrow were perfect at your home break? Would you be satisfied at the end of the day? Before you answer, in this hypothetical situation I’ll add that you didn’t surf your best at all, in fact, you totally kooked it up. Would you still be satisfied? Probably not. Truthfully, I’ve been frustrated after great waves based on my surfing, and completely stoked out of my mind on less than perfect waves because I channeled my inner Slater… or at least I felt like I did. Our performance matters to us in the way we relate to our love of surfing. Does how we perform with regards to our faith matter? Should it?
Jesus said that two greatest commandments were to love God and love our neighbors (or others). To love someone sounds performance based. So, are we loving God well enough? How about our neighbors? It’s a trick question! You have to make sure you understand the variables in that question. First, even our best efforts to love or “perform” for God and our neighbors fall short. So if we can’t hold up our end of the commandment to “love”, the really good news is that God IS love, so of course he can. Jesus asks us to love God, knowing that we can’t possibly love God like he can love us. It would be like asking me to perform like a CT level surfer, which is not going to happen no matter how hard I try. If we are trying to love our neighbors with our own effort to “perform” we will again fall short. However, if we submit to loving others with the same sacrificial love that Jesus shows us, then we have a chance to live the life to the full God has planned for us.
Our performance has little to do with our faith. God’s perfect sacrifice and relentless love for us is enough. Also, God in us is the only way to truly love our neighbors. A great man of faith and theologian, Thomas Merton said, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” That’s a “God” love. That’s God’s love performing in us.
“Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the Glory of God.” Romans 15:7