My Chief Complaint

Angry man There are certain things in this world which seem almost completely incomprehensible, which stir up in us feelings of irritation and anger.

Perhaps I’ve just become a grumpy old woman, but I wonder why people who are paid to do a job can’t do it right, or why cyclists ride in the dark with no lights, or why the England batsmen in the current Ashes series don’t simply stay in. Bring back pride in a job well done, common sense and Geoffrey Boycott.

But these complaints are trivial compared to my utter frustration at myself as I echo the words of the 18th Century hymn writer, William Cowper:

Lord, it is my chief complaint
That my love is weak and faint

How can it be that, given the immense love of God, demonstrated in Jesus’ death on the cross which saves me from damnation, I find it so hard to love Him in return? Why do I find it so easy to abandon the time I should be spending with Him? Why do I become bored in church? Why, oh why do I run from Him instead of towards Him?

As I’ve wrestled and argued with myself about these things I’ve been reminded of the words of the apostle John:

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Love begets love. Perhaps my love grows weak and faint when I fail to recognise the love of God for me. Focussing on my failure to love God takes my eyes from gazing on Him and puts them firmly on myself. I forget that apart from Jesus I can do nothing. I make myself and my actions more important than God.

That is I-dolatry.

The resolution to this must be to reflect more on God’s overwhelming love for me, the love which He lavishes on all of us (1 John 3:1).

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