Hopefully my contributions to this blog will increase in frequency and regularity next week.
That being said, I recognize that pretty much everyone is busy; we fill our schedules with meetings, work, play, children's activities, church duties, and whatever else we might feel obligated to do. There can sometimes emerge a certain smug sense of accomplishment in the performance of all these duties. As if, in the simple acts of doing them, we have accomplished much. We can subtly believe that we have merited much in our dutiful fulfilling of our obligations.
Not so says Jonathan Edwards. In his second lecture on love in Charity and Its Fruits, Edwards deals with the misconception that performance of tasks is in and of itself profitable. The title of the lecture, "The Greatest Performance or Sufferings in Vain without Charity," gives an indication of Edwards' direction. He writes,
Thus, we are called to act our actions and do our doings with proper motivation; love. Let's not think that in simply performing our duties we have accomplished much.And as there is nothing profitable to God in any of our services or performances, so there can be nothing profitable in his sight in a mere external action without sincere love in the heart, "for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward apperance, but God looketh on the heart." The heart is just as naked and open to him as the actions. And therefore he sees our actions, and all our conduct, not merely as the external motions of a machine, but as the actions of rational, intelligent creatures, and voluntary free agents; and therefore there can be, in his estimation, no excellence or amiableness in anything we can do, if the heart be not right with him.