Monday, September 24, 2012

So much worldy stuff

Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.
Psalm 119:37

I’m convicted and I don’t know what to do about it. Christians talk a lot about loving God and living godly lives. But in their zeal to study the Bible, they forget to really live the Bible. Why do Christians build flashy churches with parking garages and state-of-the-art media centers? Why do some pastors become celebrities, living like rock stars, espousing the prosperity Gospel? Did they ever actually read what Jesus said? Did they pay attention to His simple, humble life? Did they notice that He spent time sitting in the dirt with lowly sinners? That He didn’t care about pretense and possessions? What part of the Gospel don’t they understand?

Salvation isn’t for the fabulous people, for those who already have everything. Salvation is for the rest of us—the losers who can’t get it together, the ugly people. It’s all grace. It’s all Jesus pointing His finger at us and saying, “Follow me.” I’m walking with the losers, asking Jesus to pick me, pick me!

But what about living a simple Christian life on a personal level? I may criticize the fancy churches and the flashy preachers but on a personal level I have trouble giving up the quest for worldly comfort. I really like stuff. I like a nice house. I think about things like what color my walls should be, and beautiful fabrics, and vintage china, and French cookware, and on and on. It’s all beautiful to my worldly eyes, but I should know it’s irrelevant. Lord, forgive me. In my heart I know these things aren’t important, but my greedy human heart keeps glomming on to such meaningless stuff. I realize that I spend the bulk of my time managing this meaningless stuff. I’m perfecting my garden and moving my furniture and clearing out clutter—all management of my stuff.  Is this really what I should be doing? Did Jesus organize his closet according to color? Did Jesus alphabetize his spices? Am I just studying the Bible or am I living it?

Oh, Lord, I feel sick. I’m not proud of this, but how do I get out of it? How do I make sense of this world, be a good steward of my worldly possessions and still be the kind of Christian I want to be? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

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