confidence

January 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm (Uncategorized)

Trust only movement.  Life happens at the level of events, not of words.  ~Alfred Adler

i love good conversations.  if i were to make a list of favorite people, those at the top of the list are the ones i regularly have good, honest, real conversations with.

for the last few years, i’ve struggled with words over action.  certainly, our faith is not built on works, but on His grace.  but is there a difference between a faith built on works and a faith built on words?  aren’t they equally “religious” and not built on grace?  it is so easy to fall for words…they can be so eloquently designed, so beautifully arranged.  there are so many things i think i need/want to hear. but truly, the depth of a man’s words is measured by his action. no defense should ever need to be offered when a person truly lives by what he believes.  a defense is always required when a person merely says what he thinks he believes….with no actual evidence of conviction.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.  If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

this is a rough indictment to deal with.  could “religion” and “words” be interchanged?  are my words worthless because my actions don’t prove them true?  how deep are my words?  do they dwell on the surface…making me seem like something i am not?  or do they reside in my utmost being?  do they put me on the “map” of the people i seemingly want to impress or are they simply the overflow of my actions?

these questions challenge me in a completely new way.  when i use this passage or these thoughts to shine a light on my intentions, i am challenged to stop conversing about real and honest things and start doing real and honest things.  i am challenged to put away my selfishness, my pride, my anger, my self-worth, my religion and to live in a way that shows people who Jesus was/is.  we ask ourselves “what would Jesus say?” on a much to regular basis.  somewhere along the line, it became less about pure and undefiled religion and more about saying the right thing to appear as something we aren’t.  it is easy to fool people for longer when we use our words consistently.  but using our actions to show what we believe? that would require a greater effort.  and, perhaps, the use of words and the lack of evidential action IS the action that shows who we truly are.

i believe we were each created with something specific in mind.  i believe God had/has a purpose for our existence.  and i don’t think it is merely for words.

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i’ve missed Him

January 5, 2010 at 7:09 am (Uncategorized)

doing=believing

right?

so, i’ve been on this incredible spiritual journey.  and by incredible, i mean incredibly frustrating.  i always learn things when i least expect it…but when i’m looking for answers, they so conveniently evade me.

since i was a child, i’ve put a lot of pressure on myself.  i’m very performance driven, regardless of whether or not anyone else is watching my “performance.”  i can effectively beat myself up for a number of reasons….that aren’t really reasons at all.

i used to play super mario.  i LOVE super mario.  in fact, there have been numerous times lately that i’ve perused ebay, looking for a super nintendo, just so i can play super mario.  i’m good at it.  and everytime i find a new level or i beat a bad guy, i actually find myself proud of what i just accomplished.

such is the game of church.  i cannot rightly place the blame anywhere but on myself.  somehow, i have organized this game of super church. the levels consist of these things i have to do or accomplish. church attendance.  invite a friend.  serve in an area.  serve in two areas.  do something at church when no one is actually at the church.  read the Bible.  quote a verse.  quote a chapter.  quote a book.  read the Bible everyday.  read the Bible in the morning.  read the Bible for longer.  pray with big words.  pray with Bible verses.  pray with memorized Bible verses.  come up with a new, insightful way to end the prayers.  pray all day long and never end the prayers.  bring Jesus into every conversation.  make Jesus the only conversation.  and so on and so forth, the levels continue to build.

so, several weeks ago, i turned the game off.  completely.  i stopped doing all of the aforementioned things.  completely.  no church, no Bible, no praying.

the guilt was almost too much, but i continued to “slack-off.”  and the guilt is gone.  the game of church is gone.  all i’m left with is my faith.  all i’m left with is my relationship with Jesus.  i actually have to pursue intimacy with Him, instead of coming up with all of these levels to beat.

somewhere, in the last (almost) 12 years, my relationship with Jesus became more about what i was doing instead of what He was doing.  i found pride in the new levels i was moving on to…longer quiet times, earlier quite times, etc. etc. etc.

which is not to say those things aren’t a part of a relationship with Christ…but they aren’t what it is about.  not even a little.  if i continue to do what i think i am supposed to do, with no effect on the outside world, what did i really accomplish?  why on earth would i consider it a good thing to beat the game when i never acted like Jesus?  shouldn’t i represent who He is instead of representing what religion is?

and so, as i have put to the side all of the things that are expected of me, i have found an incredible place of grace.  the kind where my heart yearns to spend time with Jesus and the kind where i want to look like Jesus.

when i put aside all the little things…the expectations i placed on myself, i found that i’ve missed Jesus.  sure, i know verses and how to pray, and i understand His Word…but i’ve missed being with Him.

doing=believing

believing=doing

you don’t DO to prove you BELIEVE.  you believe, and because you cannot help yourself, you do.

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