I have a lot of principles, values, and priorities that I like to tell myself I live by. Things like honesty, loving others, being a good listener, integrity, authenticity, etc. Many of which are of course motivated by my relationship with God. However, I can say and proclaim as many of these things as I want until I’m blue in the face… none of it matters. None of it matters unless I’m actually doing these things, being true to them.. Now this sounds pretty harsh, even borderline religious or legalistic.
I don’t like lying to myself, I don’t like saying I am one thing, when really I am not. I’ll go as far as to say, if you call yourself a Christian, if you have a relationship with Jesus, and you’re not living out your values… then you’re probably experiencing some fairly stressful feelings and situations. I say this because every time I do something against what I value, I feel it, I feel the stress of being at odds with myself (normally by being grumpy, rude, mean to my wife). So, this is why I actually schedule my values into my calendar, so that I can live out my priorities, and nurture my values. In this structure I experience life, fellowship, friendship, love, knowledge, family, and all within balance. It’s freedom, even though at first it’s discipline, but discipline leads to freedom, trust me, I’ve lived it. Don’t lie to yourself.
I’ve come to a conclusion on something, I think a lot of Christians make up their own Christianity… it seems the basics of the Cross are always included, but that’s about where things end. A lot of people don’t find value in meeting together anymore, they call “hanging” and “having a beer” as the fellowship… while I have really no problems with those activities, I don’t agree they are what the apostles did in Acts, or even most of the new testament.
There is a lot of value in meeting, talking, discussing with fellow believers. While Church as we know has a lot of issues, it is what God has allowed to happen, therefore we need to both strive for new ways, and not forsake what God is doing. We must allow ourselves to be challenged by others, and must love on others even when we are in disagreement with them. Nowhere in scripture do we see permission to simply disconnect ourselves… yes we are given the choice, but we’re not really given permission, see the difference?
I could write a lot more, and I will.
The Church can be a very powerful thing, when in balance with God’s heart, word, and spirit amazing things happen; things that can bring the hardest person to a place of falling in love with Christ. This past week I have seen the power of God’s family coming to life, in spite of what could be explosive, hurtful, and misunderstood. Although there are some very hard realities to deal with, God is showing each of us that His good will is here to bring us a full life.
When we take steps to be Disciples of Christ first, in all ways, even when dealing with hardships in the Church, we begin to see the big picture, the miracles, and truly experience the Church for what Christ intended – A healing family, a loving family, and a living family.
Yesterday Jordan and I had the privileged to meet a Polish Pastor in Krak