Saturday, December 26, 2009

Waking Up And Smelling The Coffee

So how long do you think you can put up with it?

Some are capable of doing it their whole life. They seem to go through life content and happy with it all, never really seeming to be bothered too much. It leaves you wondering if they are just shallow people who don’t have the courage to look any deeper than the study guide, or if you are just simply a bad person caught up in a cycle of discontent that feels like a slow boat to no fun.

But again, this is not about them. No one else is your concern right now. This is about you and first finding the answer to your questions. Vision should lead to Clarity, and Clarity brings about Perspective. And once you possess all three, you are better equipped to find a beneficial answer than a destructive one.

I didn’t always think this way and I certainly wasn’t trained to think this way. It was all about God first, others second and me third. This little mantra is easy to recite and assists in getting a leader’s point across, but catch phrases like this one used to communicate a complex idea will eventually be taken out of context. It’s a fast food truth; simple, easy and convenient, but certainly not very nourishing.

If my most personal concerns fall at the bottom of that list of three, and if I am led to believe that getting those out of order will result in wanton hedonism and a narcissistic life, I will be ill-equipped to address the desperate condition in which my inner life has developed.

The ability to put others first is an essential life skill in any relationship. Display it as Deference or Selflessness, and you will, in no doubt, be well liked. But this can only be expressed from a position of security, and in knowing your own heart well.

If your biggest concern in leaving The Church As We Know It is what your kids will think, you are admitting that that the primary reason you take them to church is out of fear.

Fear is an insidious motivator, effective mainly in preventing mishap, but not very valuable when it comes to the role of inspiration. Your fear of water might keep you from ever having a drowning accident, but it sure won’t help you learn how to swim.

You may think you are putting them first by wanting them involved in spiritually related activities, but if your faith is shriveling up inside you, what makes you think theirs won’t end up in the same condition when they get older. Maybe their crisis will happen in half the time yours did. You went to Sunday School when you were their age. How’s that working for you?

You are nothing more than a dead man until your faith comes alive.

1 comment:

Les said...

I think this may be my new favorite post as it accurately describes a lot of the struggles I went (and am) going through in leaving the Church as We Know It.

Most of my relatives live with fear as one of the primary motivators of their faith. They have a need (insidious is a good word) to share that fear with me so that I'm afraid of the same things they are and then will see Biblical prophecy in the same way they do. Its a bizarre cycle I see in many Christian circles.