Thursday, January 21, 2010

Missing the Mark

The Apostle Paul writes that "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

I've been feeling that lately--the falling short of God's glory has been bothering me. I've been sensing (once again) that I do very little that impacts the Kingdom of God and that I rely on myself way too much and trust God way too little.

I have this secure little life and I live it every day, putting nothing out there for God. I have a modest house, a freezer full of beef, cupboards with food, four cars in the driveway (3 of them are older and paid for), cable internet, this shnazzy little HP Mini netbook and so much more. I have a job that provides a good income, access to good health care and insurance that covers most of it, live in the Midwest in a safe little community and have a great family that is living this safe, secure life with me. My job has a decent retirement plan (that I'm eligible for in 1 yr, 11 mos, 17 days) that, although would be a cut from my working wage, will give me an income that is more than the average household in the area. I have enough leisure time to write meaningless drivel and post it on a free blogsite for all of the world (that has access to a computer and the internet) to see.

I only say all of this to say that all of this makes it easy to say that I don't really need God.

Of course, I would never say that. But the truth is that I often live like that.

Oh, I'm usually religious enough to feel good about myself. I can go to church every week (2-3 times most weeks) and that makes me feel better than most of the rest of the world. I can even judge myself against the people that are in church and feel that my faults (sins) are not nearly as bad as their sins. This, of course, give me a feeling that God would love me more than them because I'm not as bad as they are. If I point this out to others (highlighting somebody else's sin) it directs their focus away from my own sin and shortcomings. This puts me in the role of a gossip and God in the role of a being whose favor needs to be earned and whose anger needs to be avoided. That makes God out to be nothing more than a celestial bully--and I don't think that God wants that image.

Jesus teaches that if we love him, we'll obey him.

What does that mean if we are constantly being disobedient?

Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have--heart, soul, mind, strength. And yet we do what we want to do and (as Christians) think that God will just forgive us and all will be well. We sound like spoiled brats with a rich daddy that will bail us out of any trouble that our reckless, rebellious living gets us into. Be honest--you hate those kinds of people. Spiritually, we are those kinds of people.

When I look at myself and do a quick inventory of how my relationship with God manifests itself to others...well, frankly I'm ashamed.

In the eighth verse of the first chapter in the Book of Job, the Bible says, Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." For some reason, I can't imagine that God would ever say that about His servant John. If He did, Satan would just laugh, "Your servant? When has John ever served you? Let me show you how your servant shuns evil. Ha!"

I guess I'm looking at myself and looking at the church in general and seeing pretty much the same thing that I see when I look around at the non-church/non-believing world. It makes me sad. I think that it makes God sad, too.

Sorry for the bummer post today. It's just where I've been recently.

John <><

1 comment:

Mike said...

I think you need a Ted Drews. TD blocks out the whole world for at least five minutes.