A good friend once shared how she had a pet bird that she absolutely adored. She would buy little toys for the bird, bells to play with, so that the bird wouldn’t get bored while she was at work. Over time, when my friend would come into the house from work, the bird would be so engrossed with the toys that it barely noticed her. My friend sadly realized that the bird had come to love the toys more than her. How similar God must feel with us at times! He richly provides us with many good things only to find that we often love those things more than we love Him.
As physicians, once we start our practice, we are usually able to earn a living that allows us to accumulate all sorts of “toys”. We’re finally able to get that nice car we’ve always wanted, and even begin thinking about our “dream” home. These aren’t necessarily bad things; they simply have the ability to draw our love away from the One who truly deserves it. The process is gradual, imperceptible, yet unfortunately, all too common.
The “toys” may be physical objects, family, or they may be goals we set for ourselves. A toy might even be the ministry we feel called to. Oswald Chambers once wrote, “The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him.”
The constant temptation to love things, others, or even ministry more than Jesus requires that we spend time daily with Him, reflecting on who He is, what He has done for us, and most importantly His love for us. His love is far more than the care of a master for his servant, or the love of friendship. Jesus refers to Himself as the bridegroom and has called us His bride (Mt. 9:15). He loves us with the intense, intimate love of a lover.
How should we respond to that love? We should be careful not to love the “toys” He allows us to have more than Him. We do that by spending time with Him and devoting ourselves to Him!
Prayer: Lord, teach what it means to love you with all my heart, soul and might.