Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges. This week’s topic is part of our series called God Is… where we’re trying to learn about God’s character and nature through some key stories in the Bible.
Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. We have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. Every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with others in community.
When I have lunch out, I love to have a Coca Cola with my lunch. At certain restaurants, I ask for a Coke by default, and they immediately reply with “Is Pepsi OK?” I have replied once or twice, “not really, but I’ll take it anyway” but then realized it was rude to the staff who have nothing to do with the exclusivity agreement that decides what drinks are served. But time after time I ask for Coke, never remembering that these places have exclusive deals with Pepsi, not Coke, and they’re locked into that arrangement no matter what I might want instead.
Exclusivity is a part of our lives. It’s generally a positive – when you see an exclusive product, you know it’s sold nowhere else. A Netflix exclusive can’t be watched anywhere else. It’s meant to tell us something is worthwhile – it’s worth a Netflix account because you get to watch their exclusive shows.
There are others, not always positive. A contractor might have to sign an exclusive contract, saying they won’t work for any other clients. A company might sign an exclusive deal with a provider, saying they’ll only buy that company’s products for a certain period of time, in return for some reduction. I remember in university that it was a topic of some concern that Coke was signing a new exclusivity agreement with the whole school, as lots of people didn’t like their business practices. Exclusivity means buying into the whole package, or not – there is no middle ground.
Or, think about the exclusivity built into marriage. What parts of life are you only supposed to share with a spouse? There’s exclusivity there, and although some bristle at the though, millions willingly enter that state of life because of the benefits it entails.
God demands an exclusivity similar to marriage – a complete and utter devotion. He even uses that language throughout the Bible – he marries himself to the nation of Israel, or Jesus marries himself to the Christian church, and they are the only objects of worship for their “spouses”.
Question: Think of all the things that are exclusive in your life, and why. Would you put God in that category? When you’re really honest, do you give time, or attention, or your resources that should go to God, to something else?