Have you ever met someone like that? Someone who has it all ‘down’ as to how every other Christian must behave? There is a definite method to their madness and the world is going to hell in a handbasket for not following their fabulous formula?
Have you been that person? I know I have. The older I get the more firmly I am convicted of my weakness and failures in the Lord and the more grounded I become in the WORD rather than in my interpretation of the Word.
I am a self-proclaimed pharaisee. I LOVE rules. I am happiest when you give me a list of dos and don’ts and expect me to follow them religiously. But, just as with children, if all we have with the Lord is a list of regulations to adhere to, we’re not investing in a relationship.
Rules are necessary. The Christian life is not free from rules. Then again, neither is the non-Christian life! No one, Christian or non is allowed to murder. It’s against the rules. We’re not allowed to steal or slander either. It’s against the laws of our country as well as our God. I’m NOT trying to downplay rules.
However, there is more to our relationship with our children than rules. We talk with them. We play with them. We bless them with gifts because we love them. We forgive their failures and we, if we are wise, rejoice to see growth both physically and mentally/spiritually.
I want my children to grow beyond just taking my word for something and begin to investigate things for themselves. I want them to find something that they think I’m wrong about. I know I’m wrong on something! I’m not perfect. I want them to bring that to me. I want to discuss it. I want to examine my heart, the Word, and my actions. I want to see them own our convictions unless we’re WRONG. Then I want to see them own their OWN convictions. This is good. This is right.
The same is true of me and my own convictions. I was so certain that so many things were mandates in the Word. I thrive on that kind of thing. But the Word gives us few mandates and many principles. Have you ever noticed that God told women to be modest without specifying what garments and of what fabric to use? (One could argue the non mixing of fibers but you know what I mean) Have you ever noticed that God told men to provide for their families but never told them that it is a sin to be an entrepreneur or an employee. He gave those decisions to us.
There is more to the Christian life than in avoiding this bad thing or doing this good thing. It’s about JESUS. It’s about falling on our face before the Lord God and being broken before Him. It is about HIM and not us. Our ‘righteousness’ are like filthy rags! Our little methods of spiritual superiority are pathetic and sinful.
Yet, we’re called to be holy as Christ is holy. We are called to workout our salvation with fear and trembling. We are called to show our faith by our works. We are not called to a laissez faire relativist ‘if it feels good do it’ kind of faith. We’re called to the true faith. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God in all and through all!
How can we as the church focus on the Word and in serving the Lord in everything. Making every moment of our days be a service to Him without focusing on ourselves and our own righteousnesses. This is the real crux of who I want to be before the Lord. Not looking for an excuse to do what is ‘right in my own eye’ but also not looking for pietistic attempts to look good in His eyes either. I just want that sincere brokenness of ‘none of self and all of Thee’