Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Strong Christian?

I recently heard a quote that hit hard the other day at church.  It was something to the effect of this, "There is not such a thing as a 'strong Christian.'"  Now think about that for a second.  I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this 'strong Christian' as a compliment or adjective.  Parents have thanked me for being a 'strong Christian role model' church gossips have asked me who are other 'strong Christian's' on my teams were, and I've loved both of these.  I love being called strong, and even more that someone thinks that I'm such an authority on this that I am worthy of answering who else fits in this fraternity.

So why if I am so confident that I'm a strong Christian did the idea of someone saying that there is no such thing bother me so much?  Because the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right.  To be a Christian, I must first admit that I am weak!  I must admit that I cannot fix what needs fixing in terms of my disobedience toward God.  I need help!  A strong Christian is indeed a contradiction in terms!

As I've pondered this for the last two days I realized a few things in my life, and I hope maybe my time of confession will help some of you.

1.  The times when I have seemingly been the strongest in my faith are usually the times in my life when I was putting on an incredible front.  Notice the helmet over my mouth as to keep up appearances and not cuss...I promise you there are some amazing words that helmet has heard. :) How ridiculous is that.  I know I don't want kids to hear what I'm yelling, but to go so far as to hide my mouth rather than to work harder to control my tongue is just laziness.  When I get this upset over a job, it is also a form of idolatry, but you'd never know that by my post game comments.  I had to be a good boy and keep up appearances of being strong.

2.  During most of my successes I'm very forgetful.  When I'm in the middle of hitting well, or even if the team I'm on is hot, I buy the lie that I'm some how a big shot.  A few of you have met this version of me outside hotels not willing to sign or something like that.  My quiet times become more of a superstition than a time with my Father.  Earthy success when left unchecked ends up leading a lot of us down this road of narcissism.

So What?  Why write this?  I'm hoping that if this finds you in a weak place today.  If the Christmas time makes you feel helpless and alone, good, admit those feelings.  Reread some of Jesus' greatest words in the Sermon on the Mount.  "Blessed are the meek, poor in spirit, those who mourn."  Not blessed is the 'man who has it figured out.'  You see earlier I said that a strong Christian is an oxymoron.  For this reason I feel that I am correct, the more I see and look at the power of God, the more I understand my weakness.  The more I understand my weakness the more I admit that I am not good enough, I will never have enough, and I will never be strong enough.  In essence as I get to know God more, I'm getting weaker, and that's awesome!

Lastly, in any religion the goal usually is to pattern oneself after the deity worshipped.  In Christianity's case, our God, the one we say was, is, and ever shall be.  Our God we claim made everything by His words alone.  Our God, does not show us his love by over throwing all evil in a mighty show of strentgh, he weakens himself into the weakest form, a baby, and dives right into the chaos.  This Christmas, let's celebrate God's willingness to be weak to ultimatly save those of us who are able to admit we are not strong.  Let's let our weaknesses be seen not hidden this Christmas, and this will let us truly celebrate.

Lord forgive my weakness, but thank you for it too.  Thank you that it ultimatly points me to you, and your strength.  And your strength, God, you never have to fake.

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