Posted By Tim Mannin
This week I was watching a show on TLC called, “My Crazy Obsession.” The show shares stories of people who…have crazy obsessions. I happened to watch the Christmas edition and one particular crazy couple talked about their obsession with Christmas themed yard inflatables.
This couple spends six hours every day for over six months of the year to prepare their 5,000 inflatables. Of course this spectacle creates a crowd of onlookers every night during the Christmas season…I guess I would pay attention to 5,000 Christmas inflatables if they were in the neighborhood. This couples commitment, investment, and sacrifice for Christmas inflatables is clearly an obsession.
It’s scary what we will commit to. Invest in. Sacrifice for. It’s crazy what we will give our love to.
I often find myself giving
my love to the WRONG things
and limiting my love
to the RIGHT things.
For instance…I love sports, but my love for people in need can often be limited. Another example…we love to buy things, in fact, we’ll spend a lot time shopping for just the right thing (usually shoes or some electronic gadget, right?) so we can either accomplish the look we want or enjoy the convenience of whatever we purchased—but our love for the Lord may not receive similar commitment in the form of prayer, worship, and service for months. I can keep going…we distribute a lot of love to things like hobbies, social media, music, movies, sports, traveling, and working…and meanwhile we limit our love to things like our spouse, family, neighbors, classmates, work colleagues, friends, the poor, and to the Lord.
Many of the things we give our love to would not be the things we would identify as the most important things in our lives. Most of us would quickly identify God, our family, and friends as what we love most in this world, but if we were going to assess what the behaviors of our life actually reveal, they would likely reveal that we usually give our love to things that don’t matter. We give away tons of time to things like entertainment, social media, and sports – none of which are bad. I enjoy all those things, but if I’m going to speak truthfully about myself…I give my love to the wrong things.
If I love something it’s going to receive a few basic things from me…
TIME AFFECTION PRIORITY MONEY ATTENTION
Clearly these aren’t the only qualities, but they make up the basic form of a loving relationship. Too many of us are giving too much time, affection, priority, money, and attention to things that don’t matter. They may be great things, but they aren’t the right things.
Our young church is exploring an old conversation – what does it take to be a group of people known by our love. John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This conversation and scripture begs the question for all of us, “am I personally known by my love for God and others?" This question is a bit haunting…because for many of us we’ve fought and worked our entire life to be known for something else. We’ve decided to be known for things like our work ethic, intelligence, humor, success, talent, business, leadership, personality, fashion style, or favorite sport. Again, none of those things are necessarily bad, but we may have neglected love. We haven’t just misplaced what and who receives much of our love, but we’ve also jumbled up our identity and what we are known for.
At the end of the day…we may personally be known for things in addition to our love. You may be a loving person who is also a hard worker, great dancer, or talented musician, but it all must be wrapped in love. Our crazy obsession must become love. Our love must be given to the right things. You and I may not have an attic full of Christmas inflatables…I hope you don’t…but we must ask ourselves, what are the wrong things in our life that receive too much love and how we can we make the right changes in order to give our love away to the right things?
This process takes time, it takes prayer, and it takes a person who is willing to walk down the road of being purposeful about who they are becoming. May we become people who are obsessed with loving the right things.