Gut Check!

I’m tired.  Just plain tired.

Maybe it’s time to admit something.  Something bad about me.  Maybe it’s inside of you too.  Maybe it’s time that all the followers of Christ, admit that there’s this little piece inside of us that just shouldn’t be there.  The piece that tempts us to separate ourselves from everyone else.  And not in a good, “holy” way either.

It’s a little piece of religious superiority.  That piece tells us, “I have this right and you obviously don’t.”  It tempts us to boast in ourselves as if we have it all figured out.  It’s what we think to ourselves when we go home on a Sunday afternoon…

“I bet God really enjoyed that today.  Music was great.  My sermon was fantastic.  I bet God saw me with my hands raised and eyes closed.  I sure hope (insert name of spiteful deacon you are at odds with) saw me.  Then maybe he’ll figure out what he should be doing.  I’m sure glad that God is one the same page with me.  I bet He was really proud of me today.”

It makes me wonder.  How much different would Christianity look today, if all followers of Christ would remove that little piece of pious, self-righteousness?  Would we be making a bigger impact in the world?  Would we still be viewed as hypocritical or judgmental if we had a proper understanding of ourselves before God?  Could it be that because we misrepresent ourselves, as better than we really are, that we miss opportunities with people that God loves?

When we live and allow this piece of sin to thrive in our hearts, eventually we begin to live above the Gospel.  We begin to think that we deserved the Gospel.  And that That we are worthy of the Good News of Jesus Christ and that those who aren’t as “good” as us, are either less deserving or not deserving at all.

Are we missing opportunities to share Jesus with the prostitute, drug addict, rapist, child molester, homosexual, serial killer, cannibal, stripper, thief and terrorist, because we are wrapped up in our own piety?

Read what God tells His people in the book of Amos.

Amos 5:21-23 (NLT) – I hate all your show and pretense—the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.  I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.  I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.  Away with your noisy hymns of praise!  I will not listen to the music of your harps.  Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.

Can I ask you some questions?  If you don’t want time to look inside of yourself, feel free to skip this part?

Sunday is coming.  How’s your heart?

Is it pure?

Are you ready to be in the presence of the holy, perfect, living God?

Do you exist as a Christian for the show of your own self-righteousness or for the radical forgiveness offered to all humanity through Jesus?

Who will God hear first on Sunday morning; you or the broken person, lying in a pool of tears on their bed?

So you see, I’m tired.  Tired of pretending.  Tired of acting like we as Christians have it all figured out.

Are you tired?

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About Stan Rodda

Follower. Husband. Father. Shepherd. Apostle. Husker.

Posted on April 29, 2010, in Church, discipleship, disciplines, missional communities, pastors, the basics, the culture, the nation, worldview. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This brings up a lot of old memories for me. Things I struggle with on a regular basis. I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I have been in church and sat behind someone and thought all the bad things you mentioned and thought how good I was. And then I have sat in church and knew people were judging me, and how I felt like no matter what I did I was I never going to be perfect. So I gave up! And I figured if these people are judging me then certainly God’s not happy with me. So why not just do whatever I wanted, since I felt like a failure anyway. My life is balancing act most days, being pulled from the upbringing I had(right or wrong, some days it’s hard to tell) and the life so many of my friends lead. All I can say, is I go with my instincts and pray like crazy for guidance. I’m certainly not in control!

  2. Yes. Absolutely tired.

  3. I have to heartily agree with Jaime. It’s sort of a roller coaster ride of keeping yourself in check. It’s not easy. Honestly, I don’t think I could ask myself those questions every single day but I try to keep my heart open to the things that need refining. In the meantime, I hope we can have grace for each other while we’re working it out.

    • culturalawakening

      Grace, not only for those working on it, but for all those around us. We all need a little more grace.

  4. I think sometimes if we do too many gut checks we can miss the message too…too much self-loathing and unworthiness can lead to a nasty spot. So, yep, I get tired, but I also believe that most Christians are doing “gut checks” daily and know that they really don’t deserve the goodness they (I) receive…I have to believe that deep down other Christians want to love on people the way Jesus would have…do we get it right all the time, nope, but I do think a good many try…I see it all around me in the people who volunteer with Grab Your Groceries and the in the smiling faces that serve on Sunday mornings, and most of the time I don’t ever question their hearts…every once in awhile you deserve a pat on the back, just keep it in balance!!!

  5. Been there done that and have to keep up the gut check to make sure I don’t go back. Good thoughts.

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