Friday, March 28, 2008

Salt and Light

This morning I got up and checked e-mail and had a request from one of Quinn's former students at Shades to be friends on Facebook. So I confirm our "Facebook friendship" and went to her sight. I saw that recently she had posted a thread on a group called "I AM A CHRISTIAN- AND PROUD TO BE ONE" (all caps necessary apparently) Someone had recently come to the group and added this statement, "I open this thread to anyone who can prove the existence of God to me". I was intrigued to see what the responses were. There were some that were okay and some that were horrible, wishy-washy, bleah. Of course, after reading all the responses did I respond? That would be a negative. I'm trying to come up with something brilliant. I do have a hope. My Christianity isn't a badge I wear proudly on my shirt. This poor kid (I think it's mostly teenagers in the group) is searching for an answer. As I was reading the responses, I saw this one from this kid who had been "saved" at a church camp. He would leave camp really on fire, then the fire would wane as the year progressed. Then he would go back to church camp, be energized, etc. Ironically, he said his faith died at a church camp. He said God had never revealed himself. Poor guy. I'm pretty sure there was ZERO accountability and discipleship for this guy. I was a camp counselor at a camp that did just that. Looking back on it now, it seems almost a build-up for failure. There were all these prerequisites for good behavior that were required. No secular music, no hanging out with your old friends, share the gospel (that you barely know how to communicate) with everyone you know (forced evangelism is sooo great-and effective, btw), be a witness to your family, get involved and be a leader in your youth group, no cussing, definitely don't smoke or drink, no partying whatsoever. So when you would "fail", you failed big time. And then you would see how impossible it is to live that "perfect, required life" that camp had taught you how to live. And then you would get discouraged and see that you sucked at being a believer. Why bother? I was a counselor at this camp and would feel the same failure. Nobody would talk about the failures or feeling like a failure. Nothing real like that. It was just a cycle of trying to get "rededicated" (bleah-I hate that word) and seeing the same cycle reveal itself again. I see grown men and women with families having this same cycle and eventually giving up because there is no flesh conquering sin.

Christ conquered sin, not me. I'm still in this flesh. That is still sinning. As His daughter, I have been given His righteousness, by grace, through faith. I think that is showing more of a light to others by being real about your life. Life really, really bites sometimes. And sometimes it's great. The gospel is true in both ways. Showing grace to one another, through failures, is the biggest way I see salt and light. Quinn is fabulous at this. I remember one time when I was so discouraged, and I thought he would say something like "I hope you feel better", or "You shouldn't feel that way", but he apologized to me for not being more of a godly husband and showed me such incredible grace through my own failure. That encouraged my faith. He showed me Jesus was real to him. The gospel isn't just a tidy little box that you have to introduce in a conversation to an unbeliever (waiting for the magical moment), it IS life.


Missy said...

Amen and agreed!
I feel bad for our young people that are being taught that if you are a christian you must live by this list and you will never feel these pains.
What a load.
Good post!

And on a side note...are any of your kids sick? Lana has a low grade fever and won't eat and is soooo emotional. I don't know whats going on.

Abbey said...

And you said you weren't any good at "this gospel stuff". I beg to differ!

Jawan said...

You should just copy and paste what you just wrote and send it to that thread for the poor guy.

JBL said...

Agreed. Sometimes it takes YEARS to get to this point - realizing that the gospel is life. Why do we get it so wrong? Why do we try to be our own saviors? Why do we communicate to others that they need to be their own saviors? ("but go to Jesus when you need some help with that.") It's sick and sad. Christians and churches (many of them) are failing the world. We're self-righteous, judgmental, overbearing, rule-communicators. We need to be saved from saving ourselves.

Now descending from soapbox.

Marsha said...

Great post, Kimmy! Love, love it. I think you should put this on the facebook thread.

BTW... daffodils touched me yesterday... I posted about it - called Thankful Thursday. (Well, really GOD touched me through daffodils!)