Wednesday, December 29, 2004

love and money

Been thinking about the kind of love that Jesus demonstrated in contrast to what we as the church practice. I have come to realize that we manipulate people and "buy good behaviour" by alternately giving love and "discouraging bad behaviour" by withholding love. Donald Miller expands this out in his book “Blue Like Jazz”.

Love as Money, “Blue Like Jazz”, Donald Miller, pp 217-219

What metaphors do we use when we think of relationships? We value people, I shouted out. Yes, he said, and wrote it on his little white board. We invest in people, another person added. And soon enough we had listed an entire white board of economic metaphor. Relationships could be bankrupt, we said. People are priceless, we said. All economic metaphor. I was taken aback.

The problem with Christian culture is we think of love as a commodity. We use it like money.
... I could see ... very clearly. If somebody is doing something for us, offering us something, be it gifts, time, popularity, or what have you, we feel they have value, we feel they are worth something to us, and, perhaps, we feel they are priceless. I could see it so clearly, and I could feel it in the pages of my life. This was the thing that had smelled so rotten all these years. I used love like money. The church used love like money. With love, we withheld affirmation from the people who did not agree with us, but we lavishly financed the ones who did.


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