Well, don’t get me wrong by reading the title. I am not going to give a challenge for you to take up; instead I like to write about the problem in ‘taking up the challenges’.
Once in a while I listen to a preacher (I don’t want to mention his name, just understand that this is a charismatic preacher of a mega church in Texas) when I come across him in a local channel on Sunday mornings. Though there is not an ounce of grace, I like to enjoy the fun in his preaching as he gives ‘spiritual capsules’ to his people. One day his challenge was ‘always put a smile on your face’. It sounded like a good idea and I thought since there is no money involved and if it can make the people around me happy, why don’t I try that? Next day I went to my office with this unusual smile on my face (imagine the smile of Mr. Bean!). Well, unfortunately I could keep that smile only till noon, and then I gave up. I failed! It wasn't just the artificial smile faded away but I also suffered some 'side effects' as well by feeling miserable that I failed. It made my face more uglier. I couldn’t be successful in a simple ‘challenge’ like putting a smile on my face! (BTW, I admire the people who naturally have a smile on their face but I just don't have it, so I tried).
Here is something I have learned from my own life: Every time I put a ‘conscious effort’ to do something or not to do something, I fail miserably! I have proved this over and over a thousand times but still I am tempted to do such things. Isn’t that interesting? If I can’t tame my ‘flesh’ to do such a simple thing, how am I going to tame it to be a ‘happy, problem-free, devotional Christian’?
I have heard someone saying this:
I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Huh? Who is this ‘backslidden, sinful, miserable Christian’? Looks like he is in danger and in need of some Christian counseling or probably join an accountability group to straighten up his acts.
But regardless of all the advice of 'well trained demons.. sorry.. deacons', he went on saying this:
When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Shhhhhhhhhh........ It is one thing that you have problem, but at least don't say it in public! Don't you know that you are a 'Christian'?
Is he a hopeless case? I would have thought so, if he didn’t say this:
Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
[P.S: If someone wants to take up this challenge to put a smile on you face always, please go ahead and try it. I give you all the 'authority' to use the comments section of this blog to record the individual results.]