Humility is important, Living with other believers, real living in a virtual world

The paradox of faith that wrestles.

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet because I’m probably going to unfold it over several conversations over several weeks. It’ll be interspersed between lighter subjects, but it’s something I am curious if other believers think about.

I’ve never been able to relate to people with no tension in their Christian faith. People who somehow walk in the certainty that they are doing Christianity right leave me incredulous (stay with me because I understand that we don’t *do* Christianity). Despite the fact that I have spent the lion’s share of my adult life -including my young adult life- living what most anyone would declare the “good Christian life” of a “good wife and mother”, the comfort of having seemed to do a few things right eludes me.

This is primarily due to an intimate knowledge of the inner working of my mind and the struggle Paul writes about so eloquently in Romans 7 and Galatians 5.

It is largely understood that the former passage of Scripture denotes a season of the journey that everyone must go through. We should surely graduate from the place of doing the things we hate. Most of us do, and I have as well. It’s a mark of maturity to rise above how we feel and do the things we should even when we don’t want to and to avoid the things that would satisfy our darkest desires simply because they are wrong. Since we live in a culture where people reduce everything to one subject, I’ll offer an example in line with what I am thinking of.

Transplanted Floridians are the worst drivers and traffic down here is absolutely terrible at all hours except those between 10 AM and 2PM. That’s only true if there’s no construction, and there is always construction.

When you live with a schedule in your head like I do (24 years of loving a spontaneous guy has NOT tempered the tendency), it’s a short leap from a tolerable drive to one where I want to 1) curse, 2) zip by someone and give them a dirty look or worse and 3) just flip out and start yelling. I know these things are wrong, so I don’t do them, but I want to. I want to several times a week.

There are those Christians who would say, ‘Well, you don’t do it so that’s good enough.”

There are others who would say, “You should be beyond such the temptation to temperamental reactions to something so mundane after more than 2 decades of walking in the Faith. You’re still a baby Christian.”

My thoughts hang somewhere in between the two of those places.

I don’t have much use for Christians who are so spiritual that they are no longer tempted to anything. I once heard a preacher refer to them as being so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.

On the other, I wonder how good of a Christian could I possibly be if I think such thoughts in the first place.

I could go on but this road is windy, so I’m gonna park and rest for the night.

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9 thoughts on “The paradox of faith that wrestles.”

  1. Yes, I know it is.

    It doesn’t change the reality that -particularly in American Evangelical Protestantism- the dominating paradigms tend to be either pretenses of perfection and having arrived or a cheap grace which excuses almost all behavior as “only human and everybody makes mistakes.”

    What I wrestle with is the truth which I’m sure is found within those two extremes, which I believe are lies which start from grains of truth.

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  2. I don’t know that we ever grow beyond temptation to sin. The sins by which we are tempted grow more subtle (and insidious), but temptation is. (Pretending you are never tempted would be hypocrisy, which is an excellent example of a subtle, insidious sin, and one that has pushed more folks away from the church than anything else).

    I’m not sure that I’m doing Christianity “right” – if by right you mean the outside stuff. I’m sure I’m doing my best, and that I will be delighted to be corrected at our Lord’s feet.

    I know I’m not doing Christianity “right” on the inside, but that’s the process of maturation. You mature through storms and the dark silence in the small hours of the night. You show your maturity to the world when the sun rises again. And you’ll have another set of storms eventually, and that repeats until the day the Lord takes you home.

    On a slight aside, church had a series of afterglows, and after a hard spring, they were so healing. A real balm to the soul. I sure hope they do that regularly. Joining with the body at large and ministering to one another in prayer is *good*.

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  3. How can He raise you up on eagles wings if you never dash your feet upon stones?

    Being fallen is human. Striving to be good is the game, and we only win when our souls are reunited with God. Anyone who pretends to be beyond temptation or sin is sinning by thinking they can manifest heaven on earth. Reclaim Eden. Progress into an era of eternal peace and harmony…**buzzer** ain’t gonna happen so long as Jophiel guards the gate with his flaming sword.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am reminded of my husband’s oldest and dearest friend, wonderful Christian man who is the poster boy for a loyal friend..

    When he would call the house and I answered, (this was before cell phones were ubiquitous so a long time ago) the dialog went like this:

    ‘Hey, [Johnny]. How ya doin’?”

    “I’m yet holding on, [Els]. I’m yet holding on. Is [SAM] there?”

    I can remember a few times when I (on a spiritual high, in smug ignorance, or something) would chide him that he should surely be doing better than that, LOL. As the years have gone by and I’ve grown up a bit, I totally appreciate what he means, since I too am “yet holding on.”

    Liked by 1 person

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