Suffocating Lists

Thursday, Jan. 21                                                      

“Lists suffocate love.”—John Garmo, Lifestyle Worship.  Pastor Doug has been pounding on this theme for a long time.  Whether he knows it or not, he has a cohort.  John (Skip) Garmo is a former student of mine in Bolivia, a dear friend that has been very successful in his career.  He was once the director of the traveling choir at Multnomah Bible College in Portland.  He has founded “Mission to Children,” now a thriving ministry that takes him all over the world.  P.O. Box 2217, Escondido, CA 92033-2217.  We still keep in touch and I value his words of wisdom.  Along with his successes he has seen a lot of aberrant conduct within the ranks of church leaders.  He shares some of his observations in this book.  The quotation above exposes a negative approach to living the Christian life.  It is so easy to lapse into a mechanical way of being obedient to the call to be witnesses in our world.  If  I do anything that is out of duty alone, it is doomed to failure.  As Skip put it, love must be the motivation for anything we do as servants of the Lord.  I’m not really against lists per se; they can be useful in terms of reminders of what we are called to do.  But if it is just doing something out of obligation or duty, it becomes the wood, hay, and stubble that Paul speaks of in 1 Cor. 3:12.  It might be well to hang a sign on the mirror:  “Beware of Lists.”

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