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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Greeting Card Christians...

I'm starting to feel like this is an accurate description for most of my generation. I know it certainly includes myself, but what do I mean by it? I mean those of us who isolate verses from scripture that, yes, comfort and encourage, but fail to challenge and keep modern day believers accountable, even though "feel good" scripture is surrounded by those that are supposed to govern our existence on this earth.

I would be lying if I said that in my 24th year on this earth I hadn't acquired a more judgmental outlook on life than that of my previous, more naive self. I have these expectations of other's, even though I am constantly (read - ALWAYS) falling short in my own life. I am curious, though. Curious to learn why (and how) we, myself included, are able to read though Paul's letters in the New Testament and so naturally lift verses that build ourselves up (like Ephesians 6:10 - "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might"), but then even more easily bypass the verses in the same book that challenge us to be accountable to our actions and "walk in a manner worth of the calling to which you've been called" (Ephesians 4:1). I realize that its easier to grasp onto the concept of "faith, hope, and love" and "encouraging one another and building one another up" (1 Thess 5:11) than it is to abstain from temptations of this world, but shortly after we are called to embrace God and become "children of light" (1 Thess 5), God calls us to live HOLY lifestyles -- 1 Peter1: 13-16 "Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, DO NOT BE CONFORMED to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"

In a time where my generation gravitates towards things that "feel good" or are convenient (I've heard us be referred to as the "Microwave Generation"), have we lost sight of what it means to abandon our old selves and embrace the fact that although we are destined to stumble, we are a chosen race? People of HIS possession? In fact, right before those verses in 1 Peter it specifically tells us to keep our conduct honorable, so that when we were are spoken against as evildoers, they will see our good deeds and glorify God. There are countless verses on debauchery, purity, anger... countless verses that call us to be DIFFERENT. So that our mistakes and misconduct cannot be used against us to refute the power of God. In James it tells us that friendship with the world is enmity with God... are we willing to sacrifice holiness in this life for passion and excitement on earth? 

As a people, we are imperfect. God intended it to be that way. But why should we settle for this? Why should we create excuses for ourselves based on our sinful nature? Why am I capable of justifying my stumbling when I know that God is calling me to be Christ-like in my actions?

With my personality and spiritual gifts, its easy for me to be a "doer of the word" (James 1:22) in the respect of caring for "orphans and widows in their affliction," and almost impossible for me to "flee youthful passions" (1 Tim 2:20) and abandon the temptations of this world. But... for the first time in my life I want to not ignore the fact that God has given us a guide book on faith and conduct in the Bible (2 Tim 3:16 - All scripture is God breathed, and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness), and learn to love like He loved, and learn to live like he intended us to live before the distractions of modern day society and sinful nature. Can't do it alone  - good thing I don't have to. 


Vic and Suebee said...

Good things to think about for sure! :D Keep it up!
Suebee :D

Age said...

I agree. I also fall victim to the same problem. That verse you posted on facebook recently about being holy because God is holy really hit home for me. Especially after a drunken weekend in Veliko Turnovo over Halloween. I don't represent him the way I should in my life and I make up excuses for it. I say things like, "I give myself to others through service everyday. I'm in the Peace Corps! God will forgive me a drink or two." But it's total crap and I know it. I need to represent him well in all aspects of my life. But it's hard. I think you're doing a fine job - keep up the good work!