Last week I spent a night in the emergency room at Franklin Memorial Hospital (Farmington, ME). Turns out I have gallstones. The doctor discussed my options with me, considering that I wanted to finish out my summer of camp ministry before having surgery. My main issue is, I need to spend the summer on a very low-fat diet.
In other words, no camp food.
I find, though, that people tend to misunderstand what I mean when I tell them I'm on a low-fat diet. When people think "low-fat diet," they think of someone trying to lose weight or lower cholesterol. And when that's the purpose of your diet, it's okay if you splurge once in awhile. If you eat healthy all week, you could have pizza for one meal, and then go back to eating healthy.
That is not the case with me. I could eat fifty healthy meals in a row, then have one fatty meal, and regardless of how healthy I ate at the other fifty meals, that one fatty meal would put me back in the hospital.
It's a very all-or-nothing approach to dieting.
I was thinking about that in relation to Matthew 22:37, where Jesus says that the most important commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
This, like my diet, is a very all-or-nothing sort of thing. It's not something we play around with. We don't say "I'm going to give God my all 90% of the time, and then I'll 'splurge,' and live for me for the other 10%."
It doesn't work that way; playing that kind of game with God is very dangerous; it results in a very unhealthy spiritual life. Jesus told us that we can't serve two masters, because we will either love one and hate the other, or vice-versa.
God doesn't want us to play games with Him, and really, when you think about it, He deserves our whole-hearted devotion, because of His great goodness, His great love for us, and His sacrifice at Calvary. He doesn't deserve the kind of games we often try to play when we serve and love Him half-heartedly.
If God has loved us so much, how could we love Him less?