Many of us get into our daily routines, and simply try to survive the ups and downs of life. Occasionally, we find time to have social contact with others to keep our sanity in tact, and we fit in the seldom attempted vacations to allow our minds to drift as somewhat of a reboot. A reboot that is absolutely needed…perhaps needed more than we allow it for ourselves. There is nothing inherently wrong with this idea, but as we live life it is easy to go about our days in a trance and at times we are jolted into reality by something that catches our attention…something that is worth our energy. Other times, we may allow ourselves to drift to the confortable topics of life, and forget very important details to make way for other things in our minds.
I think, today, we need to be reaquainted with 7 Truths That Are Often Forgotten. These are not necessarily connected to one another, but 7 things I have been reflecting on lately.
Disagreement does not mean hate
I have seen the scene play out so many times on social media. Someone will bring up a topic in which there are strong opinions. Things usually start in a very civil direction, then someone with no skin in the game interrupts the constructive flow of debate and puts emotion into the mix. This leads to name calling, and a mutual feeling of distrust among persons of opposing views. Why does this need to be the case? I have a great friend who does not believe in God or the authority of scripture. We have been in wonderful debates, and have not flipped sides on most issues we have debated. We love each other dearly and would fight for each other’s right to have the opinions we hold closely. Do I hate him? Of course not! The topics have been controversial and culturally divisive in nature, but at the end of the day we realize that it is sometimes healthy to disagree. I’m not even saying “stay open minded”, because I think that is a worn out cliche’. I am saying recognize the human on the other side.
If it were all about you; there would be chaos
No matter what walk of life you find yourself in, it is an attractive temptation to attempt to create a life that simply caters to your every comfort. Life simply works better when we do things to honor and serve those around us. You may feel as if you “deserve more” from this life, but if we were to be honest and look at ourselves truthfully; how many of of us actually deserve much of anything? The way I look at it, the grace of God surpasses what we truly deserve and gives us abundance. That should be worth something. Let’s live in the flow of generosity and seek fulfillment through sacrifice. Living as eternal consumers will only discourage us.
More is not always better
I have seen a trend among Christians that bothers me. When more money, influence, or territory is aquired we automatically call it “blessing”. That’s not the biggest part of my pet peeve though. The frustration comes when one of those things is taken away. The tendency is to shake our fists at the sky and ask God why He took it away. As if it was all a cruel joke. Let me throw something out there for you to think about. Could it be that God never gave you this in the first place? Now, before you start getting upset, please know that I believe God gives us material blessings at times to use for His glory. So, therein lies my contention…Maybe the ones you are concerned with losing were for your glory and by your resources. Not always…but just think about it. We must become okay with less if we are to understand and appreciate more. We must be willing to give all if we are to be fully blessed with much.
Patriotism is not the same as Christianity
I don’t care if you were born with a gun in your hand, wrapped in the American flag, and were raised solely by bald eagles during constantly looped episodes of the A-Team. Being patriotic does not mean you are a Christian. Period. Following Jesus is much more important than following anyone or anything else. I definitely love America…for all of its faults there is, relatively, not as much to complain about…but let’s drop the unofficial contest in American Christianity today that feels the need to one up each other regarding patriotism. Put Christ back at the center.
Isolation feeds evil
It doesn’t matter if you are introverted or extraverted…isolation is dangerous. As a pastor, I can tell you hundreds of stories where people have pulled away from vital support, fellowship, accountability and encouragement and their lives went downhill tremendously. They became reaquainted with old vices, and the old negative self-talk that they had grown out of rose from the ashes like the mythical phoenix. Now, I know what you are thinking. Isn’t it okay to get away by yourself from time to time for some much needed relaxation, prayer, and reflection? Yes. That, however is called solitude and is a very healthy practice involving a focused effort to get closer to God.
Celebrities are not moral guides
Say what you want about religion, the church, or the Christian community, but it is easy to see that many people outside of the Church behave in a similar fashion. What do I mean? Well, for example, there are many who think it is crazy that a group of people would meet regularly to sing together and to listen to a message (that to them is brainwashing) and give money to an organization for nothing in return. I laugh at this description because I have been to some pretty wild concerts in my day. What does this have to do with the example above? Every rock concert I have been to is filled with people who wear t-shirts sold by the bands they idolize, so they all look similar, and who agree with whatever the celebrity on stage says. Many of these devotees spend a large portion of their hard earned cash to be present at a concert every week and are even a part of small communities that value the same type of music. My point is that if we are to pick a moral guide it would not be wise to choose based on celebrity status. A redemptive community is one that is more healthy to associate with.
Radical Christianity may be what is needed
The hard part about this point is the fact that when many of us hear the word “radical” we think of bombings, beheadings, and bullies in communities overseas. Radical simply means to gravitate toward the source or original root. If we are to be world changers in our faith then we must do more than agree with a prayer we prayed when we were 13 years old. We must be sacrifical followers of Christ. We must desire for lives to be changed. We must have the burning passion to give the love away that overflows within us. The world will see us and great things will happen. Let’s seek the source once again.
Let us not forget these truths as we are going about our daily business.
You are loved. Don’t forget that either.