Friday, August 12, 2011

Holiness

"No one's perfect"
But why is that statement always followed up with a shoulder shrug and dropping of the topic. I am guilty of this as well. It is easier for me to just go on living my imperfect life, comparing myself with the status quo of Christians around me and feel pretty good about where I'm at. 

1Peter 13-16
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Why are we so complacent? Why do we just shrug our shoulders and keep committing the same sins over and over just because it's "okay"?

Recently as our church studies the book Crazy Love, I have realized how far we fall short of what our lives should look like as a Christian. Although we are almost finished with the book, I find myself going back to chapter on lukewarmness. He compares Christians with the parable of the sower and writes, 

"I think most American church goers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff,
then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it."

I really don't think we are concerned enough with our growth in Christ. If we are content being right where we are at for the rest of our lives, then there is a serious problem. Yeah, we take our Christian lives seriously, but do we take it more seriously than our jobs, our social lives, or finances etc?

As David Goetz put it, 
"Too much of the good life ends up being toxic, deforming us spiritually. A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy fruitful lives for God."

This is where I struggle.
 I like the good life and I like fitting in. What if I don't want to be that radical Christian? Is it a sin to be content where I'm at? All my life growing up, I was different from everyone else with my big dresses, long hair, and amish-like lifestyle. I like being normal now. 

Luke 14:34-35 says, "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

There's my answer. If I'm just going with the flow, I will eventually be no longer useful for the kingdom of Christ. God didn't call me to follow other Christians. He called me to follow Him and leave everything else. 
No, I admit, I'm not there yet. I'm not a radical Christian. Maybe I'm not even close. But I believe I'm more on the right track now than I was because I want to be there.

So in the words of author Francis Chan I ask you, 

"Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God's kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?"

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