Deep Thoughts over Diet Coke & Macaroni

Diet Coke, Annie's Mac & Cheese, and broccoli is probably my favorite lunch. And as I munched today, I was pondering something that's been on my mind for a while now, something I've been thinking about over Diet Coke and Mac & Cheese.

From 1 Corinthians 9 But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

Do you know why I have been thinking about this? Because, not to sound rude, but I think we generally suck at this as the Church. I mean, some people get it right and I'm not trying to be mean or unhelpful. It's just lately, I've been personally dealing with this problem a lot, and seeing it a lot, and hearing sermons on it a lot, and all that. So I get it, that means I'm to be more convicted of it than any of you reading this.

This is a concept that is totally against our nature. It seems that the other "root of all evil" is comparison. Why would I want to associate with and work to better the people I compare myself to so that I feel better about MY life? Then how will I feel good about ME?!?!?!?!

What a crummy attitude, right? What a sad perspective. I don't need to feel good about myself, because the truth is, we all are broken, destitute and helpless. The truth is, the love and grace I have in my life was given to me, sacrificially, when I did not deserve it.

So... back to all things to all people. I think most of the time the only way we get this right is so that other people like us. We don't want people outside the church to label us as "those lame church people". We want to be the "cool kids", so we are like, "Sweet. All things to all people. I can do this and be awesome."

Fail. Because it's not about people liking me. It's about Jesus, isn't it?

And some times, we go the total opposite. Like, if we haven't pissed someone off lately, we haven't been doing our "duty" as Christians.

Fail. It isn't about making people feel agitated at us so that (again) we can feel good about ourselves fighting a war we made up. It's about Jesus, isn't it?

I know what you are all thinking. What will happen if we become permissible, Chrissy?! We have to take a stand. We cannot become tolerant, post-modern, inclusionists.

If that is your conviction, than trust the Holy Spirit to guide you to follow through with it in a way that is good. I'm sure it will happen. And it is obviously the nature of any religious body to have convictions and not not just be without any sort of... I don't know the word I am looking for... ideas maybe? And if you just want everyone to agree with you and not try to change you or challenge you, you probably don't want a church at all. Jesus was all about challenging our ideas and changing us. And besides, we don't even agree amongst ourselves, but we accept that.

For those of us who have become too lazy to want to be challenged with truly being all things to all people, we need to wake-up. Because whether or not we like it, the Gospel we have requires a lot more sacrifice than we'd like to give. For the rest of us who are just desperately trying to believe we are part of some elite, better-than-you-club, we need to suck it up. Because whether or not we like it, the Gospel we have is a lot more inclusionist than we'd like to admit.

It's not us vs. them. It's God reaching out to us.

That's my thought for today. It isn't complete. I will write more on this, and on one of the most beautiful, hopeful parts of the Christian faith (to me) later. But this is enough for now.
Ah, yes, the picture of me and Otis. What does this have to do with anything? Because I realized that Otis is better at this than I am. He is nice to everyone, he would never intentionally hurt anyone, and he is continually content and joyful. He will play with those who want to play, sleep with those who need rest, be gentle with timid children, be loyal to his less-than-deserving-owners, and put up with a lot of neglect and abuse before giving up on you and walking away. That's right. I just got beaten by my dog at being all things to all people.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your heart, Chrissy. Definitely been challenge by this myself-to reach out to all people, where they're at. {kinda stretches my extremely conservative baptist background self!}

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