Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Checklist Relationship

1 Thessalonions 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

We don't allot twenty or thirty minutes a piece to each of our friends do we? We don't call them up every day (maybe less than that) and blab to them for 45 minutes exactly and then promptly hang up the phone, not even giving them time to speak. 

Just look at your earthly relationships. None of them are cookie-cutter, perfectly-timed-out relationships. They don't have schedules (at least to a tee). They aren't portioned out minute by minute. They're just wholesome relationships. The kind that whenever a friend or family member is around or needs you, you're there for them. You talk to them, spend time with them, do favors for them, etc. And they do the same for you.

Now I realize not every relationship is this nice, but in general, looking at how you act with your friends, family, close peers --the people you care about on earth-- saying your time together is meticulously planned out every time is inaccurate. 

So then, if we don't do this in our earthly relationships... Why do we form this "Checklist Relationship" with our God? Our Heavenly Father, the one who created us in his image.

We sit down every morning, read an allotted amount of chapters in the Bible, then pray for, oh let's say 30 minutes. Phew! You're done! No need to think about God for the rest of the day. Wow I'm such a good Christian! *checks "read devotions" off the to-do list and goes on*

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to condemn anyone here. I am just as guilty of doing this as anybody. I am trying to read through the Bible in a year, and I'm constantly having to remind myself: "Isaac, this isn't just a book to read through in a year. It's not just a goal. This book is practically a personal letter, written for you, from God. Stop rushing it. Calm yourself, and try to soak it in." 

I also realize that every single minute of every single day can't be spent in devotions, prayer, and singing praises. It's not humanly possible. But every time you have the chance, say a little prayer in your head or hum a praise song. And yes, having a devotion time every day is so important, just don't turn it into a checklist thing. Try to learn something every time you open the Bible, or more accurately, ask God to help you understand more every time you read his word. 

As some of you know, I've been planting a garden this year. It has been a lot of work, but it has also given me a lot of time by myself. And instead of defiling that alone time that I so desperately crave, I've been trying to use it to engage in my relationship with Him. Praying, singing to myself, meditating on a passage I read recently. See, it doesn't have to be this full-out, hands and knees on the ground worship time. Just spending time with Him, learning more about Him, talking to Him and letting Him speak to you. 

I'm not trying to preach to you. If you've found a way to build your relationship with Christ then by all means do that! But I will say, those times when you're alone (working in the garden, driving down the road, before you go to sleep and after you wake up, those quiet hours in the morning with your coffee) are some of the best times to learn more about Him and about yourself.

I feel like I need to sum up my babbling after every post so here it is: Don't fall into the rut of checking Christ off of your to-do list. Crave a strong, full relationship with Him, and spend as much time as you can praying and meditating. Form that wholesome bond with Christ, not a checklist relationship. 



  1. I had so much trouble with this, and realized a bit ago it needed to change when a relationship with a certain boy I liked kinda fell through... and I just said i wanted to stop liking boys, not focus on them. Turns out there is no switch, but I can slowly re-train my brain to not constantly focus on a boy, but instead when I think about him, to thank God for everything in my life. It has helped me get closer to God, and it turns out this person still wants to be friends. God really does work everything out in time :)

    1. That's a really neat idea! Whenever you start focusing or obsessing over anything (it doesn't have to be boys of course :P) to turn your mindset around and think about all God has given you and be content with that. Thanks for sharing!

    2. You are welcome! Oh and happy (late) Memorial Day, btw!

  2. Great post Isaac! I actually just scheduled a post on the same subject from another angle about an hour ago. ;)