When Paul writes rules for how to act like Christians, he sounds like my mother: Be kind. Be sweet. Be patient. Love everybody. Don’t say mean things. Say your prayers. Make everyone feel welcome. I can hear my mother say everything in Romans 12:9-13 except this: Do not lag in zeal (v. 11).
Lagging in zeal does not sound evil, but sloth deserves its spot on the list of seven deadly sins. Apathy tears us up from the inside. Indifference is spiritual anorexia. Self-pity keeps us from joy.
We lag in zeal some mornings. We resent the alarm clock. We get up without enthusiasm. We have no desire to get to work. Taking it easy is easier. Working for things that don’t matter has stolen our passion.
Doing nothing is simpler than trying to get things done. Not trying is less trying. Trying means we can fail, but the follower of Christ has to want more.
We want to love from the center of who we are. We want to worship. We want to learn. We want to help those who are hurting. We want to grieve when others grieve. We want to be happy when others are happy.
We want to be good friends who love deeply. We want to help others look good. We want to expect more. We want to pray. We want to feed the hungry. We want to welcome the outsider.
We want to surprise ourselves. We want to win and celebrate. We want to lose and get over it. We want to face the unknown. We want to be generous and big-hearted.
We want to think about Jesus, love Jesus, do more for Jesus, and do more with Jesus. Christians want more.
What do you want? What should you want?
God, help me want more of what you want me to want. Amen.