Follow by Email

Monday, September 22, 2008

To Walk and Talk Like a Christian

I seem to be struggling lately with the concept of what a Christian life is like. Not with salvation but with what comes after. I just read a book by Jerry Jenkins called "Though None Go With Me". Let me tell you that if you read that book thinking about becoming a stronger Christian I don't think you'd have any motivation to do so. It was depressing and portrayed the Christian life as one full of suffering, struggling, duty, lonliness, fatlisim, and hardly any joy. It's listed as inspiration reading and left me thinking once again that not many understand the Christian life.
Why are so many sermons about what I should be doing as a Christian? What am I doing for Christ? How "good" is my life? How surrendered am I to Christ? I, I, I....

Since I accepted Jesus as my Savior as a young girl I have been in a relationship with him. At times I have pushed him aside because I wanted to live my life without him. Other times I have struggled with him, maybe like Jacob beside the river, demanding to know his name. There have been times of joy, of sadness, of quietness, of tragedy. He has been part of it all, because I am His and He is mine. I didn't have to read my Bible everyday but I do need to desire to be conformed to the image of Christ.

Isn't it more about hearing his voice and knowing what he wants me to be doing today? More about loving my son when he is irritating me instead of yelling at him in an angry voice? More about joining God in his work than having him put his stamp of approval on mine?
What did Jesus teach his disciples while he lived with them for three years? I believe He tried to teach them the difference between religion (that's what the Jews practiced) and a relationship with God. He exemplified for them how to walk in the kingdom of God instead of worrying about any earthly kingdom.

Maybe I'm not being too clear, but I'm tired of a Christian life where I have to work hard and make sure I measure up. I'm tired of one verse being taken out of context to become a "life verse". I'm tired of playing "church". Maybe I'm just plain tired.

There is one thing I still love and that is God's Word. I get excited teaching it to junior highers (even when I'm not sure I can put up with them for another minute!). I love to memorize it and let it sink into my soul. I like to read books written by people who seem to understand God's Word in its entirety and have a good grasp of what a life looks like that is pleasing to God. Jerry Jenkins, forgive me. I'm just not sure I can swallow your brand of Christianity.