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« Religion Anyone? Finding God in Unusual Places | Main | ’Wiping Out Christians’ »

January 31, 2007

Another Dose of Wilberforce: Lazy Minds Repent!

In Jesus' summary of the Law, he tells us we are to love the Lord God with all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind (Luke 10:27; Mark 12:23). What does it mean to love God with all our mind? At the very least it must mean a rigorous mental pursuit of God through the Scriptures. This is a fundamental part of developing a biblical worldview. William Wilberforce took to task the Christians of his day for not pursuing God with a strenuous exertion of the mind. Perhaps, we too, could use his words as an encouragement to press on to know God more (Hosea 6:3).

How criminal, then, must this voluntary ignorance of Christianity and the Word of God appear in the sight of God. When God of His goodness has granted us such abundant means of instruction, how great must be the guilt, and how awful must be the punishment, of voluntary ignorance!

And why are we to expect knowledge without inquiry and success without endeavor? Bountiful as is the hand of Providence, it does not bestow its gifts to seduce us into laziness. It bestows gifts to arouse us to exertion. No one expects to attain to the heights of learning, or arts, or power, or wealth, or military glory without vigourous resolution, strenuous diligence, and steady perseverance.

Yet we expect to be Christians without labor, study, or inquiry! This is the more preposterous because Christianity, a revelation from God and not an invention of man, shows us new relations with their correspondent duties. It contains also doctrines, motives, and precepts peculiar to itself. We cannot reasonably expect to become proficient accidentally, as one might learn insensibly the maxims of worldly policy or a scheme of mere morals.

What could you do differently today to love God with all your mind?

To read more of Wilberforce's own ideas, check out his classic work, Real Christianity.

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I take karate lessons from a Christian blackbelt who runs the school as a ministry. After a hard workout he'll remind us that we can't be a 1-day a week athlete anymore than we can be a 1-day a week Christian. I think he would like this quote about laziness.

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