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July 15, 2011

Burn away the pride, bring me to my weakness,

till everything I hide behind is gone.  And when I’m open wide

with nothing left to cling to, only you are there to lead me on,

Cause honestly, I’m not that strong…

 

 

I was asked a tough question recently.  We were wondering why people are so averse to faith, and and why Christians in particular seem so ineffective sometimes.  Our faith makes all these grandiose promises, and we insist they are true, but then they don’t seem to make a great deal of difference day to day.

There are quite a few reasons, I’m afraid, and I’ve touched on a few in the past.

 

So you have this group of people who have been commanded to do all these things that run completely counter to human nature.  We’re commanded to love our enemies, to put others before ourselves, to ask forgiveness for our mistakes.  Jesus said “whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.”  We’re commanded to do all this because, Christians believe that Jesus came to the earth to remove the “dividing wall”, everything that was separating us from God.  And now that we are forgiven of everything we’ve done wrong, and now that God takes care of our needs, and has given us the authority to boldly ask him for help, we are to treat others the way we have been treated.  That is the essence of Christianity.

And thank goodness, because I would be a massive hypocrite telling people the ‘right’ way to live.  I still lie, I still lust after women, I overreact when I feel wronged, I am at times selfish and lazy and arrogant; in a word, I am normal.  Every Christian is.  Above all, what really ought to be changed is attitude.  When a person that understands what has been done for us, it changes him.  He fails over and over, but gets up again; he doesn’t tire of doing what’s right.  The bible says,

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

I really think all humans are alike.  It’s not that anyone has any more to be forgiven than anyone else.  But it’s the person who realizes how desperate his need is, who says “I’ve done wrong, and I continue to do wrong, and I need to be forgiven.”  I think that person starts to get close to the reason he was put on the earth.

So, that seems simple enough.  You may read that and think, so at what point does a large group of Christians have to become this strange, massive political force and arbiter of morality?  Well, kinda never.  When Jesus confronted people who tried to impose morals and traditions on people, he called them “brood of vipers.”  But anyone can pretend to be anything.  I mean, Charles Manson insists that he is Jesus; that doesn’t make it true.

And that’s tricky, because people’s perceptions are colored by all the people that call themselves Christian, without knowing who is telling the truth and who is not.  So I guess I can’t meet people’s expectations, nor should I want to.  Just gotta keep on keepin’ on, and hope people can recognize what’s genuine.

 

Today is going to be a strange day.  Hopefully by tonight I’ll be swimming laps and eating some home cookin’.

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