I prefer solving equations to balancing books; God used both in His lessons this week. I love math, but the expression “You do the math” is more about figuring out the obvious than actually doing any math. I may be a whiz when it comes to equations, but I’m horrible at “doing the math.” Constants, coefficients, variables, and operators make sense to me, but they don’t apply to my heart. There is no logic in love, but there are constants that apply.
Romans 13:8-10 says “You do the math” very effectively.
“Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.” (The Message)
The sum total of God’s Word is love, and Christ gave us all the answer to God’s equation before asking us to do the math. In Algebra, the answer is given before I start, so I’ll know where I’m going. The same is true with God because the process of working out problems is the whole point of our journey. I struggle with the obvious and understand the difficult, so doing the math isn’t easy for me. God knows that better than anyone and used it well this week.
I can’t make an answer be what I want it to be in math or in life. No matter how many times I try to convince myself or God that I am right, He patiently waits for me to see and correct my mistakes. Sometimes, I smile and see how silly my mistakes are and quickly fix them; more often, I cry in frustration, wad my heart up, and toss it back at Him. He picks it up, smooths it out, and gently waits until I’m ready to begin again.
There is but one answer when it comes to any heart problem, and that is love. Love is amazing, and I can’t go wrong when I love others. Love doesn’t mean I can break the rules and laws God gives when it comes to loving. I can’t make up my own rules or skip the ones I don’t like. I have to follow His principles and laws if I want to come up with the right answer.
I thought I had things all figured out this week, and I was feeling pretty smug. God showed me that I have learned a lot about love. He is very pleased about that, but He is concerned about my continued trouble with the obvious. Love is the point of this journey, and doing the math will be required all along the way. I’m very grateful God provides all the help I need to find the right answers. The Holy Spirit is a terrific Tutor, and Christ is the Master when it comes to teaching. I know with Their help, I’ll be able to solve any problems that come my way and “do the math” with ease. It is nice to know that being in debt is a good thing when it comes to love.