Can I just be totally honest?
I have most, if not all, of the “right” answers.
And it’s driving me nuts.
Here’s the deal. I’ve been a Christian for as long as I can remember. Apparently the conversion day was sometime around age 4, so there’s not a single memory I have that doesn’t include Jesus. (Okay, that sounds weird and strangely arrogant, but you know what I mean.)
My whole life, I’ve been a Christian.
My whole life, I’ve known that Jesus died for me and I’ve believed it.
My whole life, I’ve been learning about the Bible, and the history of my faith.
Sunday school, church camps, talks with my parents, private Christian school where Bible class was mandatory and we recited a memorized passage of Scripture each month. Christian friends, youth group nights, boot camp classes, and cheesy plays and musicals. FCA meetings, prayer groups, Sunday morning church and personal devotions. College level Bible courses, Christian roommates, mission trips, hall Bible studies, accountability partners, volunteering and service projects. Long talks with my husband, womens’ retreats, more Bible studies, and mentoring youth.
Seriously–my whole life has been learning and hearing how I should (and can) live and how I should (and can) make a difference for Christ. So, at the risk of sounding prideful, I know a lot. I can answer most of the questions my youth throw at me. I can give you advice on how to walk with Christ, how to live for Him, how to impact our world and our culture.
Then why don’t I do it?
I’m so sick and tired of knowing all the answers, yet not knowing how to live it out. And I could even tell you how to live it out–but actually doing it is a whole other thing.
Erik’s always saying that many Christians operate with a mentality of “an abundance of grace”–meaning, we err too far to the side of grace in our Christian walk. Not that grace isn’t important, and not that we should live a life of judgment and rules … HOWEVER, if we focus too much on the “Well, Jesus will love me no matter what I do!” then that’s a problem. And of course, I always agree with him. I always nod my head as if to say, “Well yes, Husband, you are right. Those who live with the abundance of grace mentality and don’t listen to the other parts of the Bible that tell us how to live and what to do, they are shorting God. They are living to less of a standard than God has called them to. Those poor poor people. Missing out.”
Um HELLO!? I am one of those people! It dawned on me last night! No, I don’t get up in the mornings and think specifically, “Well, Jesus will love me whether or not I die to self. Whether or not I read my Bible. Whether or not I serve others. Whether or not I pray without ceasing.” No, it’s not that obvious. Instead, I just don’t do it. I just don’t read the Word. I just don’t pray without ceasing. I just don’t try to eradicate the sin in my life. I can tell you how and why we should do all these things …. but …..
I just don’t. I don’t live as if Christ has changed my life.
It’s just all so normal. All this “Christian” stuff has been a part of my life forever. I’ve known all these answers for a long time. I’ve done the studies–I know I can find my identity in Christ; I know I’m a child of the King; I have discovered my spiritual gifts; I understand the power of prayer and the importance of reading the Word …and at times in my life, I have lived in a way where I was pursuing Christ and loving Him wholeheartedly.
So why is it so hard now? Is it possible to have a spiritual “peak” in one’s life? If so, (that’s horrifyingly depressing), mine was back in college.
So this is what spewed out of me on the porch with Erik last night. Sometimes I feel like I have no one to talk to about this stuff … I miss my roommate Cora. Erik’s great and everything, but I miss that female spiritual confidante. Maybe I left that behind in college too.
I keep rambling on because I feel like there’s no conclusion to this blog. Other than to say, man–it stinks to know all the answers, but be too lazy to put them into practice. And to wonder what the point of it all is anyway.
Goodness sakes … I still can’t figure out how to end this thing without sounding morbid and depressed!
So okay–I’m in a rough spot spiritually. Not questioning God or anything, but questioning the reasoning behind many of the things we do as Christians. And questioning myself. And my walk with Christ.
Wow. Still depressing. And I’m done. 🙂