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Reflections on How We Approach God

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nativity1We know how God approached mankind: the surprising incarnation as a baby at Christmas. But how ought we to approach Him? Here is a wide range of 14 ways we often try, along with a benefit for each:

  1. Love the right things and you will find your way home to God
  2. Think the right things and you will know the sovereign God
  3. Believe the right things and you will live at peace
  4. Obey, obey, obey and you will not go to hell
  5. Withdraw from the world and you will know God best
  6. Keep these sacraments and you will be part of the kingdom of God
  7. Feel the right things and you will be blessed in your spirit
  8. Follow these steps and you will prosper
  9. Serve the Lord your God by serving people and you will honor God
  10. Once you have suffered enough you will know God
  11. Meditation is the path to knowing God
  12. Go with the culture and God will go with you
  13. There is no God, but there ought to be one, so I’ll “believe”
  14. We are all God’s children so let’s be nice to everyone

My wife and I grew up with three (4, 6, 14). I was trained in one (2). But I now prefer “Love the right things” (1), which comes from Augustine, and “Serve the Lord your God” (9), which might also be called the “Love your neighbor as yourself” approach to the Christian life.

As we reflect on God’s amazing gift of his son — how he approached us — we have a wonderful opportunity to consider the shape of our response. I’ve got a long way to go, and I’m sure you can think of others. In what other ways might we approach God?

God bless you this Christmas.

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John Teevan After growing up in Chicago and graduating from Princeton (economics) where he became a Christian, John Teevan focused on ministry for 35 years. His interests in social action developed through that era, and now he leads in starting urban college sites, including one in Detroit, for Grace College. He also is the executive director of and has taught in Grace's Indiana Correctional Education program. Grace has contracts to provide education in the northern region of Indiana's state prisons. Fairly well-traveled because of his mission interests, he and Jane live in Winona Lake, Indiana. Their three grown son have lived and worked around the world.

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