Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Selfish spirituality.

People use God as means for physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual well being. Spiritual well being is the most accepted form while the others are also on the rise. I know people push their children to church to make them morally pure. I am going to call it selfishness and self-centeredness. Sunday school classes are filled with programs to make 'nice' kids. No wonder people reduce God into church, denominations and principles. Well, it's okay to make them nice, but don't forget to tell them that living in a relationship with Jesus is not about being nice or problem-free.

The blessing of God comes in the ultimate form of LIFE in Christ, and nothing less. It is not about living a 'peacful' life here on earth. It is much much bigger than that. It took Jesus to shed His blood to the last drop to prepare us to receive His resurrected life. I am not saying a morally pure character with physical, financial and emotional well being is impossible or unimportant for Christians. But that’s not the goal or means of Life in Christ.

It is a tragedy that people measure victorious Christian life on the basis of the above mentioned prosperities. We are rich in Christ, not in material. We are well in Christ, not necessarily in our body. We are blessed beyond measure in Christ, not necessarily in the world.

“My grace is sufficient for you”. Are we contented in Christ? Are we truly fulfilled? Or are we still seeking? Is it possible to be totally free from the pressure of the world and abandon ourselves to the perfect will of God in Christ?

It is unrealistic to expect to be a problem-free Christ follower, because there is no such thing existing on the pages of Scripture. When it comes to the issue of following Christ, Scripture is the final authority. Expect rejection, ridicule, strange looks, issues and problems and see the normal Christian life. But experience the peace/fulfillment/wholeness which transcends all human understanding in the midst of all the problems. Out of 12 disciples, 11 were brutally killed and we are expecting a trouble-free Christian life?

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.” – (1 Corinthians 1)

How many of us have felt the ‘sentence of death’ for Jesus's sake? I can’t even endure a 102 degree body temperature!

“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

When it comes to sufferings, why are so quick to become defensive?

Paul says, “God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles”. He comforts us in all our troubles! Not by letting us bypass the troubles, but making us capable of being in trouble ‘comfortably’.

Selfish spirituality on the rise. I am always worried about my well being. I will use even god to achieve it. That is the attitude of selfish spirituality. Look at any religion, all it talks about is about living a 'nice' life and finally reach a nicer place called heaven. This is worse than worshiping idols.

Life in Christ involves suffering. I hate suffering, but I can't suppress truth. Selfishness has no place in Life in Christ.

"Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it"

Is this called the 'inconvenient truth'?


Matthew Daelon said...

Ah, we all hate suffering! I don't like talking about it either lol. But there have been times where I craved suffering, because when the suffering was over, I realized how much I draw near to God during stress and trials. I am also comforted by God's Spirit in the midst of them. While I would definitely rather not have the trouble, God is with me every moment.

The greatest thing is that I don't have to earn it! He's here with me freely, no matter how much I've screwed up. "Even if I make my bed in hell, you are with me."

Bino Manjasseril said...

It is our suffering, weakness, sins and inabilities what keeps us dependent on Jesus. Not that we have to have troubles in Christian life, but that is just the way it is. But we can still be at peace in the midst of sufferings. Many are deceived and disillusioned by the prosperity and well being teachings so widespread in Christianity today. It is an unrealistic expectation and most of the time the end result would be disappointment.