This is going to shock a few people. Here we go. One of the reasons I decided to have this blog was that I could not only communicate what I thought would bring some benefit to others, but also that I could have it recorded, so that some day in the future, when I look back, I can check how consistent I have been with my ideas.
Lately I’ve been struck with some ideas, feelings, thoughts, reflections… I don’t really know how to explain, but the core of this thing is that I (and to be honest I believe that you’re included in this too) have been a hypocrite for most of my life. Actually up until this morning. Why? I’ll give you some situations and you check your own self to see where you’re at:
We say that we love God, love Jesus, that we pick up our cross daily and that we are ready to be true disciples. And with all that said, we live a week of 7 days where 6.9 of those days are basically absent of any contact with God. We say a few prayers almost falling asleep before going to bed, some of us are brave to say a morning prayer and even do our “devotional”. WOW, Congratulations if that’s you! No, not really, shame on us all! Not because we must do more to earn anything from God, but because we must do more to display our gratitude from being saved from eternal suffering and are promised with eternal life of joy and perfectness. That should be enough.
I’m not sure if my words are enough to express my feelings, but I really don’t understand. I read one thing in the Bible and see something completely different in my life. I read “pray without ceasing”. Where is that in my life? I read “persecution”, and thank God we don’t have that here… but maybe we should ask ourselves why that is… Maybe because we’re not challenging our world and culture enough. We devote our lives to work, purposeless for 80% of our lives and regret later when we get old. Is there any way I can change that in my own life?
Do you want to see another situation that has bothered me deeply lately? Jesus said this: “By this the world will know you’re my disciples, by the way you love one another…” Does that say anything out loud to you? LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and it was at a later stage, which for the doctors and medicine, meant it was too late to reverse it and her days were counted short. That was bad news, big time for us all. Her family was brave, her husband has been strong. They have two kids and it’s going to be tough without her around if that becomes the case. Our hope still relies on God believing He can perform a miracle and heal her from inside out completely. She has been fighting hard for months, almost a whole year. She never gave up and she is always reading her bible and thanking God for everything. Tough one this one! She is a real example of what it means to follow Jesus through hardships. I great example to me at least.
Now here is the tricky part: How many times did I go to the hospital to visit her and pray with her? That I can count, 4. Along these months I sent a few text messages and made a few calls to her husband in support. WOW! [Pause here and reflect on this last paragraph… How do you think I’m doing as a friend?… How about, how am I doing as a Christian???]
Now let’s reverse the situation. What if that friend of mine was someone from my blood family? How many times do you think I would visit her at the hospital? How much longer and sincere would my prayers be? How much more faith would I exercise?
Do you really think that I would put any other commitments before this situation if it was me personally involved? Of course not. And that’s why I know now, I’ve been a hypocrite, almost my whole adult life.
I know the majority of my friends are on the same situation. It’s likely that you who are reading this is also on the same path. Be honest with yourself. We are all on the same boat. And there is no way to sugar coat this one. We need to wake up. I dare to challenge you with this thought: Church has become ineffective because it is no longer church. There it is, I said it. This show that we put up on Sundays is not church. It may be an expression of our western way of worship through songs and emotions, but not church. NO!
Go ahead and read it for yourself. Have a look closer at what the church should be according to Jesus. Read the book of Acts and see how “the church” (not the Sunday gathering, but the family of new Christians) was constantly praying for Peter, John, for Paul and other missionaries. Not like the prayers we say today for missionaries who are in distant Africa, or Asia, suffering things we can’t even imagine, but they would spend days praying and enquiring from God, requesting signs to follow. There was something different about their prayer. Does that mean we force God to do something according to how much effort we put into prayer? I don’t believe so, but it surely shows how far away from the truth we are when it comes to our relationship with God, specially if that’s the question we ask after this thought…
See how they use to share everything, and YES, that included their money too. Not 10% per month. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t even give that much. Going even further, why do we give? Is it because we must fulfill a subconscious status position of giver in our community or because we see the needs around us and know that the church can BE the difference.
Finally, read the book and try to match their attitude with ours. Who do you think would represent Jesus best? Us, or Stephen, when dying, could only focus on Jesus? That hurt huh?
Well, my goal is not to make you happy so you can like the post and recommend to your friends so I can become famous and sell millions of books. NO, wake up. That’s my goal. I need to wake up. I’m waking up right now and I want you to follow.
From now on, It has become a goal of mine that I must share this Jesus story everyday. I must devote more of my life to Jesus than to my boss and my job. I need to prioritize Jesus, and not just put him on my calendar for a 30min slot for the day. I must love my neighbors as I love myself and that must be clear to the world. I must love even my distant friends and acquaintances. In fact I must love my enemies because it’s easy to love a dear friend.. I must pray for the church, the family of God, the bride, the left hand of my own body. I must show the world that I am a disciple by the way I love others. So help me God. Help me to rid myself of my own greed, selfishness and limitations. Help me to be like you. Truly I ask. Help me to be like you. Help me to understand that this world means nothing, this life means nothing, everything means nothing, if You’re not in it. I need help God. I can’t do it on my own. I know my brothers and sisters can’t do it on their own. So please, help us. Amen