Most people who view Christianity and Christians, seem to have the idea that it is all about having and living the quiet life, the easy life, kind of saying ‘we can’t make it in the real world’ or ‘I’m a Christian because I’m a loser’ or ‘I’ve flunked out’ or some such things, usually negative. Basically, those who can’t make it in the real world, in one way, shape or form. However, in one sense, all Christians are outcasts from the world, or should be.
‘15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.’ (1 John 2:15)
There is a balance to be made, between trying to rehabilitate the world and seeing it as irretrievably lost. And, although Christians should see the world as a harsh, unfair, divided and deeply unjust place, we cannot take the weight of it on our shoulders. Nor is our primary motive to challenge injustice in the world. It is to seek God, the coming of God’s Kingdom and all His true values, not the passing fads and fancies of the world, however important they may seem now. Rehabilitation begins with us first. We cannot, even as Christians, go around preaching against sin, or preaching for Jesus in any way, until we are rehabilitated. Now, I know that we are all a work in progress, and not one of us will reach perfection until Jesus does a final work in us all, but all of us who live out the Christian faith in our lives will get to a point, perhaps in spite or because of our struggles, where we are operating enough in Christian faith, basically in an intimate relationship with Jesus, where we can correct people in love and can preach the Gospel. I don’t just mean standing on a street corner holding a Bible in your hand, or as a reverend in a church, I mean in the course of your day, in your workplace, who you eat lunch with, where you get your coffee (or tea, if you’re English, my dear!), and where God takes you and places you. We don’t need to be officially religious or get paid by an organised church to preach the Gospel, or simply just profess our faith, BUT we need to live out our faith in obedience, well before we preach it, and perhaps even before we just talk about it. We need to walk the walk, before we talk the talk, brothers and sisters!
Boring Christians!? That’s the image, right? Boring, staid, rather sensible, non threatening. Emasculated men, placid women, and all rather torpid as lukewarm coffee (or tea, if you’re English, my dear!). It never sounds very inspiring... church committees, jumble sales, Tuesday meetings, etc etc blah blah blah! It isn’t like that, or it shouldn’t be.
I wouldn’t change one thing about my life, not the fact that right now I am suffering very badly with chronic fatigue syndrome, literally can’t work and have bouts of depression, nor the sadness of some of my past, either. Even if I wanted to, how could I anyway? It’s wasting time going over things I can’t change. My Christian walk with the Lord has had its ups and downs, in fact it’s been like a rollercoaster, but that’s life. Trying to avoid the bad, does not enable us to enjoy the good... because as sure as eggs is eggs, good and bad will come, and as someone said somewhere at some time, sometimes they run on parallel lines. I have already had a life of adventure with the Lord... I wait with bated breath, and hope unending at what is to come.
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.’