Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The 'Christian' difference.

As a Christian, sometimes I deliberately try to make a difference. Its kind of silly. I try to give a good and nice impression about my life to others. It is my own proclamation, out of my insecurity, that "Look, I am a happy, problem-free person BECAUSE I am a Christian and more than that I am a believer in the grace of God. You have problems? Too bad. You are a loser! I have found the secret spiritual formula for a problem-free life. Humble yourself and ask of me, I might share the secret with you!"

Why are Christians so insecure and some are so adamant to even admit that they have struggles in life? I am here to tell you that, my life is NOT 'heaven on earth'. My life is a life of imperfection, trouble and often times a mess. I have no secret spiritual formula for a perfect life.

I have financial struggles, sickness and all that, just like the heathens. Pretty much anything you can think of.

Yes, I am settled deep inside me because of the fact that I know for sure that God is in control of my life and everything around me. I am secured there. I don't have a feeling that I am 'missing' something. The emptiness in my heart was mysteriously and wonderfully filled by Christ Jesus. I am not seeking anything 'more'.

But, at the same time, I am not in a state of spiritual 'nirvana' all the time. I am not even walking by faith 24/7. I have the regular problems of the regular people. Didn't Jesus say that "you will have trouble in this world"? Did Jesus offer a perfect life here on earth? I think not.

12 comments:

Ike said...

Bino...maybe you should read "Your Best Life Now". I think Joel wrote that for unbelievers because as your post indicates.....our hope is not in this life. For the unbeliever....this is their best life now!

Bino M. said...

Ike - I have seen that book. I usually pay not much attention to books written by the prominent charismatic television figures. Its just not my taste. Such books usually put a lot of emphasis on the things we have and the things we do and often times its very unrealistic. I have heard people say, 'keep a smiling face all the time'. Well, I just can't! I do smile, but not always. I prefer to be just who I am. And I think Jesus has given us the freedom to be just who we are.

Thanks brother, for the comments!

lionwoman said...

I've always been more drawn to the Christians who don't feel they have to advertise (why then did I used to act that way too? LOL). IC has been sucked into telling people what they want to hear to get them "on board." I have found the honesty in "the wild" so much more real and refreshing :-D

Joel B. said...

Man, I used to be REALLY GOOD at the
"smile on your face all the time" / "I have no problems" Christian life! hehehe

I remember times when I would try to keep the smile on my face even when I wasn't around anyone, just in case someone came through the door or around the corner and saw me not enjoying life... LOL.

Then one day one of my coworkers had the audacity to tell me that my smile turned people off sometimes! At first I couldn't believe he'd told me that, but then it clicked inside me and I was thankful that he told me that. A "smile," in and of itself, isn't what turned people off. But it's the fakeness of it all. I think people saw through me.

You're so right... we're not perfect in all the things we do and we have problems, financial struggles, illness, etc. We don't always do the things that "good Christians" do.

Just this morning I had the air conditioner repair guy here. I had looked at our warranty, and saw that we had a 10 year warranty on the compressor and a 5 year warranty on all the other parts. I was sincerely hoping that our problem was the compressor, so it would be covered by the warranty. I was also worried about being scammed and charged too much for whatever repairs are needed. So I prayed along those lines, hoping it would be the compressor and not cost us much money.

Turns out it's the evaporator coil that has a leak and needs to be replaced. $675 is what it will cost! Much more than we want to pay, and not an answer to my prayer that it wouldn't cost much, and certainly not a help to our finances! The news didn't put a smile on my face!

But that's life! We still have faith. We still have peace with God. We still have the life of Christ in us, and that's what matters! The 'old' me would have tried to find a way to justify all of this as part of God's provision. "Well, God is good and He's teaching me a lesson here." Or "Maybe God will lead the repairman to Christ through me." Not that those things can't happen, but that's not really my testimony here. Really, it's just as you say. In this world we have troubles. And if we want to stay cool in the summer, and if we want to own our own house, it COSTS MONEY!! :)

Bino M. said...

Amy - I agree! Thanks!

Joel - I read your comments yesterday and even this morning as I was driving to work, I was laughing about the things you shared. It's very true, Joel. I kind of get sick when Christians act as if God is in their finger tips, waiting for them to snap, so that He can magically solve all their problems - including the air conditioner issue :)

I don't think that's how God works. It's not that He can't solve all the problems in a second. But He works in a totally different realm.

I am still smiling about your smile. :) Thank you for being honest and real. I find it very refreshing.

Much love!

Ike said...

Hey Bino....why don't you and Joel each send me $100.00. You will not only be smiling all the time but you will receive back ten fold. Not only that....I'll send you a prayer cloth if you include a self addressed envelope. Make that a tissue!

Joel B. said...

Ike,

The funny and sad (at the same time) thing about that is that if those preachers really believed in God's 'return' on those 'spiritual investments,' wouldn't they be the ones who were sending people money??? ;)

Ike said...

I hear you Joel!

Rich said...

Bino,

I very much appreciated what you shared here, thanks!
Was it ever about bringing perfection to our lives (no more hassles, problems, disappointments), or is it actually experiencing the perfect One perfectly loving us while we journey through this life, in this world but Not of it??

I am being so wonderfully encouraged by Father knowing and experiencing this reality unfolding in my life… For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

There are no shortages of ‘secret formulas’ but there seems to be a real famine in seeing and hearing this invisible God and Father that supposedly resides in a species called Christian!

As His perfect love continues to perfect us in Love, we too can say, If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father…yahoo!

Matthew Campbell said...

AW, MAN! I get sucked into the mentality that since I am a Christian, I will have it easier.

Yeah...Not really.

Jamie said...

I don't think our trials will be any less, why shouldn't they be greater? Don't we have an enemy (defeated) who seeks to devour us (not our salvation but our peace of mind)? But I do think our response to our trials is different. My security isn't in the fact that my life is pain-free; it is in the One who keeps me in the circumstance, trial, storm, etc. THAT is the Christian difference: the ONE we are in...

sparrow girl said...

Bino,

I can really relate to this post! Thank you for your openness and honesty. I don't always feel "up" and my circumstances aren't always so great. It's such a relief to know it's okay, He's still with me..