One of Claire’s friends gave a talk in church a while back about what I’ve started to call the “three levels of obedience.”
(Yes I liked the thought enough to give it a name.:)
He talked about how the FIRST LEVEL of obedience is where you are obedient because you are too nervous not to.
Like when kids obey parents, teachers or leaders because they’re worried they’ll get in trouble if they don’t.
The SECOND LEVEL is when obedience becomes transactional.
You make your bed and you get a sticker on your chart.
You come home in time for curfew so you won’t get grounded.
But the third level… that’s when it becomes so good.
That’s when obedience becomes transformational.
Because the THIRD LEVEL is when you just desire to do things because you know they have the power to change you for the better.
You reach out to others because you are curious about them and you want to get to know them.
You go to church because you want to learn to be more like Jesus, and like those others who fill the hallways there, trying their best in their own unique ways.
I loved being taught those levels because to be honest, sometimes the word “obedience” gets me a little fussed up.
Because sometimes I think we translate it as blindly following without thinking.
But that third level of obedience? It’s the kind that takes some thought:
“I want to do this.”
Just like thinking long and hard about those “Decisions in Advance” did for us kids growing up.
True obedience comes from the wholehearted desire to give our hearts to God.
And see where that takes us.
Something I’m always working on. And failing at. And then working on again.
“Oh God of second chances, here I am again.”
Just some quick thoughts from the desert on this Super Bowl Sunday where you can almost feel the energy in the air (since it’s happening here, right along with the Phoenix Open).