Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Friday, November 9, 2012

Words (not) To Live By

Maybe this is a little rant.  Maybe it's a commentary on how ridiculous and unthinking we have become as a people.  At any rate, here's the thing, everyday when I get on Facebook or Pinterest people have "clever" little signs posted.  You know, those inspirational words to live by.  They might look nice--have a cool font and/or graphic.  Perhaps it is the visual appeal that makes people think that the words are actually wise.  (Hmmmmm, that's something to think about.  How easily we are deceived into thinking someone is right or wise simply because they are articulate or interesting.)

So, let's get something straight: Popular is not synonymous with wise.  Interesting is not the same as smart.  Good feelings are no substitute for right living.

What bugs me the most is when Christian people--who seriously ought to know better--post these things.  Where do we get our ideas?  From the Bible or from pop culture???  If we internalize any of these very flawed ideas, it is no wonder we reap a bunch of drama and turmoil!

Here in no particular order are ridiculous things friends have posted to Facebook or Pinterest:

Things don't just work sort of magically.  What in the world gave us this idea?  Everything that works--being it your job or your marriage or your relationship with your children is because there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears invested in it!  The philosophy above can really cause us to take no personal responsibility for the failures of our relationships.  What a passive and unhelpful way to live your life!  

Let me give it to you straight: Jesus has already come to earth and gone back to heaven.  Any expectation you have from another person for perfection is completely misplaced.  Whoever you marry, you marry a sinner.  And so do they.  

We live in a very odd point in history as far as relationships go.  In the past women were content to find a husband who would be faithful and provide an income.  Feelings of over-the-moon-love weren't necessarily even a requirement.  Sometimes love grew from the seeds of choice and faithfulness.  Men were content to find a wife who could tend a home well and would be his partner in having children.  "Chemistry" wasn't necessarily a requirement.  People often chose to love the one they married rather than the other way around. 

These days we expect to be with someone who is beautiful and "hot" to whom we are sexually attracted.  This person must be well-employed, but their job must not infringe on any of our plans.  They must not have any emotional baggage that might require us to be patient, forgiving and move any mountains.  They must be there when we need them and meet all our needs, without being too needy themselves.  We must have the same interests and hobbies and the same political views.  To boot, they must also agree theologically with us on every point.  This person will never make us cry, never cause us to swear and never doubt their love for us or ours for them.  In addition, there must be "timing" meaning that they must come into our lives in such a way that it is perfect for us to be together and neither of us will have to sacrifice anything that would cost us a moment of discomfort.  This person will be Christlike but not require that we become Christlike in return.

Can we get a little wake-up call?  This person does not exist.  Marriage is the union of two good forgivers who agree to do life together--even when it hurts and you second guess your choice.  Marriage is where you dig your heels in and make a daily choice to love--even when the other is being unlovable.  Marriage is when you admit you are unlovable at times, but the covenant of marriage allows for personal growth and healing along the way.

What makes me happy is to sit in my pajamas all day, eating chocolate gelatto and reading novels.  What makes me happy is not the best.  What is best is for me to daily lay down my life for my family.  And that will, in the end, make me happy.

Start with happiness and the world will be very unhappy indeed. Start with what is right and the world will become a much happier place.

"Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think...."  Seriously?  Too many people take the advice on this post-it note.  In fact, I think it's become some people's political platform.

Rather, how about we get the mind of Christ and use that mind to think God-thoughts!  Let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus!  (Philippians 2:5) 

Again with the passivity!!!  As if we have no control whatsoever over what we think and feel.  But that's not what the Bible says!  2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  You have a choice everyday, every minute of every day, what you allow to take up space in your thoughts and spirit.  Evict anything that doesn't obey Christ.

This one might take the cake!  How about respecting others enough to know that the world does not revolve around you and your feelings of happiness!  Respect yourself enough to do what is right--even when it hurts! Psalm 15, commit it to memory:

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lordwho keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.

Hebrews 12:4, "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."  Keep fighting.

This says that my commitment is contingent on your behavior.  Might be fine for a business arrangement, but this concept has no place in a Christian marriage.  We have to do what is right, regardless of whether those around us choose to.

OK, my last piece of advice is this: please!  For the sake of rational thought, stop posting things that are.....so.....unlovely.  

"Whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."  Philippians 4:8


Lady Dorothy said...

YES! On all of it!

Happy Elf Mom said...

Wow, don't even fight the demons any more? I would be evaluating "hiding" this friend on facebook.

Sometimes, though, people marry folks who are not as nice or godly as you are (and I am not saying this in a sarcastic way). One of my friends is dealing with sudden infidelity, upcoming divorce and children who miss their dad. Another friend posted that first picture as a way to try to comfort her.

And you know what? I "liked" it. It's not passive or throwing away your marriage to realize you can't make someone not be a bad person if that's what they choose to be.

There are some very broken people out there. :(

Gombojav Tribe said...

I know life is not so tidy. Life is messy. And sometimes downright ugly. As much as we hate it, I think we invite more of it's ugliness into our lives when we espouse philosophies that have their foundation on things other than Christ.

Thank you for the compliment on my godliness (not being sarcastic, either!) but if only you knew! I'm far from what I should be. I've almost thrown in the towel more than once. 'Cause marriage hurts sometimes and it can get real ugly. Therein lies our road to perfection, though. All that suffering works for us more exceeding weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

It's true that not everything is black and white and the answers are not always obvious. Sometimes we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils, which might mean walking away from some relationships. I get that. I really do. Yet, I feel that is....overused. I think marriages--even terrible ones--could be saved a lot more often than we see. We don't see marriages turn around very often these days and I think that can be because we just quit to soon.

Have you ever read my sister-in-law's blog? She's my hero. Seriously. She loved my brother back from hell--literally. She not only saved her marriage, she saved his soul. You can read about their journey here: http://standingformarriage.blogspot.com/

Yes, there are a lot of broken people out there--and I'm one of them. Thankfully, Jesus is a master of putting people back together. It's not a cliche. It's really, really, really true.

Sarah said...

Thanks for this post. I was feeling the same after noticing the constant flow of rubbish 'shared' by Christians on Facebook. My rule for myself is to carefully evaluate everything I read before hitting the like or share button. What we like and share has the potential to really discourage fellow believers.

Andrea said...

Those signs!! Such a false look at life... and some people bite into it with all their teeth. *bleh* I've reposted a few in my day (don't have a FB acct anymore & I lasted in Pinterest all of 24 hrs) but really didn't think about what I was reposting. So I'm guilty too, I suppose, in the fact that I passed on the errors... but none quite as phoney baloney as these are. Sheesh!!

I saw a status one time, on FB, that said: "I'd feel like I'm living life all wrong, if I measured what I do & how I feel by these feel-good signs on here!"



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