I’ve been silent for a long time, too long probably. I’m sorry. I had kind of a running list in my head of things to write about, but I just haven’t been able to get myself to sit down and write. And now the list has faded a bit. I can’t quite remember everything that was on it.
It’s been kind of a strange season for me/us…mostly me. I’m only in my thirties, but you could probably call it a mid-life crisis. I even chopped off my hair and started wearing black skinny jeans.
I’ve had more conflicts and misunderstandings in the last two months than I care to remember, and somehow I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be the problem. I’ve begun to question where we’re at, lament the time that we’ll never get back, and mostly I’ve begun to feel like I just don’t know what to do with my life! I’ve wasted time feeling like I have nothing to offer; I have no degree, no innovative ideas, no charisma to influence others, no real talents, skills or gifts, and really not even any goodness in and of myself. Oh the self-pity! You know what happens when we start to feel sorry for ourselves? We get stuck! We accomplish nothing, and we end up alone because no one wants to be around someone throwing a pity party! …except Jesus, I guess, but we tend to forget that he’s there, so that’s not good.
I’m not sure exactly what it was that brought me to this point. Maybe it was a combination of things: cultural stress, the constant flow of seemingly perfect lives and accomplishments of others on social media, or let’s just be honest…it was probably just my very own sin and selfish nature that has this uncanny ability to make everything about ME! Ugh!
The beauty of the gospel is that there is a way out, but it’s kind of a narrow and not so appealing road to travel. Seeing the error in our ways and choosing to make someone other than ourselves the center of our lives goes against everything society preaches; it is in complete contrast to our human nature. But the Christian gospel is one of grace, and when we encounter grace we realize that the giver of it is the only one worthy of being at the center of our lives.
So, you know what my problem has been? I’ve needed to be reminded of the gospel, even if I had to be the one to preach it to myself! Believing in the gospel is not just our means of salvation; it’s the primary answer to our sin issues! Yet, for some reason, I’ve found that often amongst Christians, talking about God or offering the gospel as an answer to a problem someone is facing, has become something that’s seen as either cheesy or offensive. Why is that? I mean, even I have to admit that I’ve gotten a bit perturbed with someone who’s come up to me when I’m having a hard time, puts their hand on my shoulder and begins a sentence with, “I know you’re going through a hard time, but Jesus…” Who else? Why is it that sometimes we don’t want to hear it when we need it most?
I think that at least for me it’s the reality of lingering unbelief that makes me furrow my brow when someone tries to encourage me with the truth of the gospel. There’s something about it that I’m questioning or not fully convinced of, and so instead of being encouraged, I’m unsettled by it. Does that make sense?!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been preaching the gospel to myself a lot lately, and it’s been so good for me because it’s helped AND it’s reminded me that it is the most important thing that I have to offer to the world. I don’t need to make something of myself, I just need to be obedient to share the good news of Jesus with others. That’s my purpose, and I really need to be a little more aggressive with the enemy when he tries to divert me from it.