One Sunday, during a sermon at church, our pastor shared an Augustine quote about disordered love. I had read it before, but upon hearing it again that morning, my heart was profoundly affected. I left church asking myself, with sincere honesty: Have I lost sight of my first love?
Our hearts are so prone to wander. I love Jesus—with all my heart—but my love so easily becomes disordered. Our hearts are in a relentless and exhausting battle over our affections, waged against a deceptively enticing world.
Consider Augustine’s words: “But living a just and holy life requires one to be capable of an objective and impartial evaluation of things: to love things, that is to say, in the right order, so that you do not love what is not to be loved, or fail to love what is to be loved, or have a greater love for what should be loved less, or an equal love for things that should be loved less or more, or a lesser or greater love for things that should be loved equally.”
It is only by keeping our adoration for Christ at the forefront of our hearts and minds that we can rightly live and rightly love. It affords us the grace necessary to persevere in turning our love outward to a world that desperately needs it but is often hostile toward God. It offers us a joy that is unattainable by any other means.
Augustine writes: “There is a joy that is not given to those who do not love you, but only to those who love you for your own sake. You yourself are their joy. Happiness is to rejoice in you and for you and because of you. This is happiness and there is no other. Those who think that there is another kind of happiness look for joy elsewhere, but theirs is not true joy.”
Dear friend, it is my prayer today that your heart would be prompted toward deep, genuine, and intentional adoration of Jesus, and that it will compel you toward transformative obedience—producing a joy unlike any you’ve ever experienced.