Ch 2 – Magnificent Monotony
I started reading this book with some guys from church last week, and today Chapter 2 raised some discussion over how the author intended to use this word monotony to describe God’s relationship with us. Sure, the title says it’s magnificent, but still.
It was another great chapter where in the end he says that “anyone who has experienced [God’s love] will tell you: the synonym for monotonous is not boring.”
There’s a lot I could quote (as Dean said: “It’s like pulling a piece of straw out from a haystack” haha) and I’m not very good at book reports, but what stood out for me was reading about God’s power (i.e. he created) and his love. He loves just because I am (referring back to grace from Ch 1?). But if in return, I love God because I think I need to (i.e. because he’s powerful), then I’m not getting it.
He then talks about how we’re in a similar situation with each other. We think we need to be popular or powerful; we focus on these things. But to “accept myself as I am…is an act of faith in the God of grace.” p48-49 This doesn’t mean we become lazy. Instead, he says that “love is a far better stimulus than threat or pressure.” p49 (another reference to God’s power?) But when we begin to see ourselves as accepted, “we decrease our hunger for power…we no longer fear criticism…we are less often plagued with the desire to please others…we are grateful for life” etc. p-49-50
For me, this chapter had that aha moment on the last page when I read that “the gospel of grace ends any apparent dichotomy between God’s power and His love.” p50 (Dichotomy: a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.)
I think this is difficult to grasp as a Christian. There’s a lot of info in the bible that leads us to think that we need to stand up for what’s right, or we need to make sure that everyone knows the truth about who Jesus is, etc. And to a certain extent, maybe we do. But isn’t that the same as using our power or trying to please others or whatever other big list of to-dos you can come up with?
But then, the gospel of grace doesn’t mean I just sit around. It means I’m free to love more.
I think you need to read the chapter to get where I’m going with this, but hopefully you can see that there’s a difference between loving God because we’re supposed to and in loving others because God loves us.