Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm a Hypocrite

Have you ever been hurt by a spouse and then heard the words, "I love you but . . ."? Have you ever wanted to say, "your action speak so loud, I can't hear what you are saying"? Have you ever had someone offer you some kind of help saying how much they just love to help people. They offer things like mentoring, helping you fix your car, baby-sitting, or helping you find a job, etc., and then you never hear about it again? Have you ever seen people chastise others for their own weaknesses?

In some of these cases, you would call the person a hypocrite. In other cases you are hurt by their otherwise good intentions.

What about all of the promises we make to God? Have you ever told God that you loved Him with all of your heart? That you would follow Him anywhere? That you would do anything for Him? Have you ever said silly things like "teach me patience" or "I want to share in your sufferings"? Have you ever said "Lord, I just want to hear from You"? "I really want to know you"?

I know I have. In fact yesterday morning, I was saying a few of them. And then it occurred to me, if I really want to know someone I have to spend lots of time with them. I have to make them a priority in my life. So I had to close my prayer that morning with "I'm sorry Lord, I'm a hypocrite." I decided I need to really try to get to know Him rather than just telling Him I want to know Him.

What if I spent 15-30 minutes talking to my wife in the morning, telling her how much I love her and want to know her better, then dumping all of my problems on her and asking her to fix my messes? Then I would call her every hour to tell her all the things I need from her and want her to do for me? Then I come in at night and do a lot good things like help with kids, laundry and dishes (no comment, Gina) but spend no time talking to her? Then when we go to bed, I can imagine her saying, " I thought you said this morning that you wanted to know me." I would probably respond, "I know honey, but it is late, maybe tomorrow." How would she feel?

I wonder if that is how God feels?

From Strange to Great

The most profound statement that I have heard this week comes from Steven Furtick.

If you ever put your finger on what makes you different - maybe even a little bit strange - you’ve just discovered the reason you were born. And you’re well on your way to greatness. -read the entire post here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'll Be Back

I received an email a few days ago that someone had posted a comment on this old post of mine.

Here is the comment:
The problem I have with the "relevancy" concern of many churches is that it rests on a false assumption, namely, that human nature changes throughout the ages. It does not. Therefore, the gospel message and the biblical methods are always appropriate. God provides not only the message but also the means.

My first thought was, "this must be a friend or blog reader trying to get me riled up to blog again. If that's true, it worked. This is my first bog of 2008 and it's the middle of February. I actually checked my stats today for the first time this year and still have at least half of my readers. They're probably accidental Google hits.

Anyway, if the comment was not from someone trying to get me to blog again, I hope anonymous is still reading.

Here are some thoughts to ponder:
  • What exactly is this unchanging nature of humans?
  • If human nature can be defined as some thing as vague as "sinful" or "prideful", rather than being attached to a Worldview, then I would agree that human nature doesn't change. But, then again, I don't think many people are trying to be relevant based on that assumption.
  • Could it be that being relevant has to do with meeting people where they are rather than where we are? Like Jesus did when he met the woman at the well (John 4:4-26). He used a symbol taken from her need to be at that well and he deflected her argument about the true place of worship to point her to the kind of worshiper the father seeks.
  • I think that most people who try to be relevant would agree that the Gospel message and the biblical methods are always appropriate.
  • Jesus was the creator of relevance. His consistent use of parables and departure from the established religious methods are pretty clear.
  • I agree that God provides both the message and the means. What exactly do you think is wrong with relevance when you say that God provides the means?

If Anonymous really believes this stuff I would love to hear from him or her. But if this is an attempt to get me to blog again, then I'm back baby!