We either worry too much or we don’t care enough. Inevitably, we put far too much stress on the unimportant while neglecting the important. We expect our chosen formula to yield certain results, only to find ourselves deflated when our fearfully and wonderfully made children don’t conform to the “norm.” How do we find the balance between fear and flippancy?
Within our congregations, and even the broad spectrum of the "Christian" community, there are people who are considered "pillars" by virtue of their status, deeds, or popularity. They might be the individual who brought us to Christ, the preacher in our local church, or a widely respected speaker or author. Sometimes these pillar-people are dear friends or members of our own family. Pillars all have something in common: they are human, just like you and me.
As a child of God, you are swimming against the current. If you try doing this alone (without Christ) it won't work. You will fail. We need Christ---His power, His wisdom, and His saving grace. Jesus also established the church so we would have support from fellow believers.
Within each one of us is a longing to be seen. It is this very longing that makes social media such a powerful medium. Every post offers a glimpse into our daily life. We can share our favorite foods, our cute pets, our cutting complaints, our magical moments. Better still, we get to control how much we reveal, making our lives look "practically perfect in every way"! Yet does anybody---on social media or in our day-to-day---really see us as we are? Do they see our grueling work (or, at times, embarrassing laziness)? Do they see the tears? The frustrations? The joys? The longings?
The Bible is one of the most criticized books in the world. While many of us as Christians accept the Bible as God's preserved word for us, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we cannot expect non-believers to regard it with the same reverence. Most have not devoted extensive time or research to its validity and so they parrot the old argument, "It was written over 2000 years ago. It's a biased, outdated, work of fiction by some crazy men." This post will not be a fully extensive argument regarding the accuracy of the scriptures. There are books aplenty which can go into greater detail, and I will give you a few links within this article. This article is simply intended some facts, quotes, and sources to light that may be unknown to many people. It is my hope to enrich the faith and conviction of believers and provide some thoughts to ponder to the skeptical.
Before we can have an intelligent discussion about hot-button issues, we must establish that there is a standard for truth, and that such a standard is far greater and more reliable than popular opinion.
Why are we willing to speak and teach the truth---even when it is unpopular? Are we teaching the truth to inflate our own self-righteousness? OR... Do we hope to lead people away from the catastrophic consequences of their choices? Are we teaching the truth because we love God and seek to glorify Him? OR... Do we simply seek self-promotion? The truth must be taught, but we must teach it with love.
When I entered college in 1999, many were under the impression that evolutionary theory and, of course, the obvious problem of peer pressure, had the greatest faith-wrecking potential.
We were wrong.
What is the greatest challenge facing Christians?
People used to say things like, "the devil made me do it," or "I can't help it, I was born this way!" Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. The facts remain clear: our own desire lures us into sin.
Wishing to be someone else or longing for life to be different sounds understandable on the surface---particularly in our culture where self-fulfillment and happiness are counted among the highest goals. However, there is an underlying insidiousness in these longings.
Am I looking at what God has given me as though it isn't good... or isn't good enough?