Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pay Attention to This

Recently my neighbor spent some time with a bunch of Christian women. Last night she asked me why Christians seem so discontent with their relationship to God. At the meeting, the women talked about how upset they were that they weren't achieving a certain level of "walk with God".

"Whose standard are they trying to live up to?" My neighbor asked. "I thought being a Chrisitan meant being satisfied with God. Why this discontent? Why aren't they content with who they are now? I believe we all go through different seasons in life and a relationship with God and Jesus would flex. I'm confused."

My eyes popped open. What kind of gospel are we as believers preaching through our actions? Not a grace gospel! Sounds like works doctrine to me. Yikes.

Knowing some of the women in the group, I understand what they want - what they are striving for, but how they expressed that in the presence of someone who is unfamiliar with the "church culture" caused confusion and even a stroke of fear.

Jesus Christ relates to each of us as individuals. My relationship with Him looks different than His relationship with my best friend, Stinky. My relationship with my husband, John, is very different than Joe's relationship with John.

We all desire to be closer to God - to have a better "walk" with him. What the heck does that mean? Maybe we need to rephrase that as "I'd like to know Him better." That's more accurate.

We don't have to achieve a three-mile long list of objectives to reach the goal of his love. "While we were YET sinners, Christ died for us."

Christians are imperfect. We will be until we're in the presence of our Savior. I shared this fact with my neighbor. I encouraged her to read the book of John. John is about personal relationship - the very thing she's seeking.

In the mean time, we need to be aware of who's around, who's listening, the words we use. Chrisitanese does more harm than good. As writers, we're admonished by editors to be exact. The reader should never have to guess our meaning. Same thing applies to our speech.


Rodney Olsen said...

"Christianese does more harm than good." - AMEN SISTER! .... er, I mean, absolutely right.

The scriptures talk about being content in any circumstance and about peace that doesn't seem to fit with what we're experiencing. Of course we all desire to get closer to God but we need to walk a line between contentedness with God and our relationship with him and the kind of discontent that drives us to continually improve our relationship.

You will never hear me say a bad word about my wife. I absolutely adore her and wouldn't want to be with anyone else. I tell anyone who'll listen how incredible she is. Does that mean that everything is perfect between us and I've stopped trying to grow our relationship? Of course not, but that's between us.

We need to think in similar ways about our relationship with God. Yes we can improve things but we serve a great God and we need to let everyone know it while striving to know him more.

Paula said...

I love this post.

It reminds me to consider the joy and privilege of being brought into relationship with God. That alone is so huge--that He would go to such lengths so we could be in relationship. It reminds me that it is about His grace, not my works. That relationship with Him is not so much something to be achieved or attained, but to be lived and experienced.

WordVixen said...

I went to a Christian school, and grew up with "Christian talk". I never knew a difference until new kids started attending our school, and my social life began to branch out into other areas. What a difference! How we talk is almost like a pass phrase- "psst. Holy, Holy" *furtive glance* "Lord God, Almighty" "Ah, you have... the book?".

It was the number one thing "outsiders" said made them feel like outsiders.

By the way- hi! :)