I heard another guy on the radio today urging believers to really get “serious” about their Christian faith. He urged them (us) to give up “milk” for the real “meat” of the Christian faith by “getting busy”. By buckling down and acting serious about being a Christian. And he said, “If you…” at least 4 times. “If you really get serious, you will unlock all the blessings that God has in store for you.” “If you get serious about growing in Christ, you will have a much more fulfilling Christian walk of faith.”
Says who? The guy who reads the Bible like we would read an instruction manual for assembling a lawnmower?
I think he has it exactly backwards. I think that the “meat” of Christianity is realizing that we really are NOT serious about all of this God stuff. And that the only One who is serious about it is… God. Who was so serious that He actually became one of us, and lived down here with us, amongst people who would reject Him, revile Him and eventually kill Him. He was so serious that He forgave His murderers from the cross that they had murdered Him on. He was so serious that He uttered with His last breaths, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Yep… ‘Christian religion’ has it exactly backwards. For the religionist, it is all about OUR seriousness, and our efforts to be what we ought be, SO THAT we will be more acceptable in the eyes of God…and to PROVE to themselves (and others around them) that they really are believers.
Give me a break. God does not need our seriousness, for He knows it is all a sham. He knows the thoughts and motivations that lie within the hearts of men and women. He knows fully well that if it wasn’t for Himself making believers out of us unbelievers, not a one of us would come to Him.
But He loves us anyway! He wants us anyway! He is after us and He wants to assure us of that fact in His promised Word. And in water, bread, and wine, attached to that Word of promise.
“If you…” Forget all that “if you” stuff! When you hear that kind of talk connected to something that you should, must, or ought be doing to become a better Christian…turn off the radio…leave the Bible study…walk out of the church…because there won’t be any gospel there…only law. Law can’t help you where God is concerned. That is why St. Paul calls it the “ministry of death”. (that’s right – google it)
God in Christ Jesus loves you. He died for you. He forgives you. He wants you. He will never leave you. He will raise you from the dead when you need Him to. He has prepared a place for you with Himself. He has freed you! Not the ‘cleaned up’ you , but the real, sinful, you… the you that really needs a Savior.
If you would rather live by the ”if you’s” and the religious/spirituality/self-focused growth projects… then go ahead. But you are going to rob yourself of the comfort and assurance and rest and freedom that Christ Jesus has ALREADY won for you on that bloody cross. And you are probably going to be so busy with yourself, that you might not have much time for those around you that could really use the help of someone who is available and free to help them.
So, here’s my advice. Chuck all that navel-gazing, Christian self-improvement religion, and trust in what the Living God has already done for you, is doing for you, and will yet do…for you. And realax a little. And enjoy being what God made you to be in this world, a person… nothing more…nothing less.
Thanks to flickr and Kpako for the photo