When I was in high school, I dated a young man who was given complete freedom by his parents. It was hard for me to imagine, as my parents were loving but strict. In talking with him, however, he told me he wished his parents cared enough to give him some boundaries. Because they didn’t care where he was or what he did, he believed they just didn’t care.
Children need moral boundaries—reference points for life. Otherwise, they just float aimlessly from one fad to another, one person to another, one religion or philosophy to another, unable to make sense of all life throws their way. Without such boundaries, one finds himself utterly lost.
Elisabeth Elliot understood this concept when she wrote:
I am pulled or drawn by Christ’s call rather as the earth is pulled by the force of gravity…In space, astronauts experience the misery of having no reference point, no force that draws them to the center…Where there is “no moral gravity”—that is, no force that draws us to the center—there is spiritual weightlessness.Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline
In Christ, we have a moral and spiritual center. Agape love led him to sacrifice his life for ours and compels us to love others. Jesus Christ becomes our true north on the compass of life, allowing us to gauge all our words, actions, and attitudes by his pure example.
We can’t find true north on our own, though. Without the Holy Spirit, who comes into our life upon salvation, all our personal efforts to do good become twisted and off-kilter. Christ in me aligns my soul to his.
Paul was certainly centered in his Savior and through him had the motivational pull toward service.
When I “put on Christ,” I’m wearing the gravitational shoes that keep me locked into the weight of his love in a weightless and loveless world.
Do you feel his love compelling you to live for him and his purposes? If not, take time to pray and trust your life to him.
Grace and Peace