It has been a long time since I've blogged. Almost a year. This is not surprising to me, nor should it be to you either. If you remember when I first began this endeavour, I warned you that it is very difficult for me to keep up with something like this consistently. However, I find myself in a place once again where I feel like sharing a piece of who I am and processing through some things. Really, you all should feel quite privileged-I am very private person and so the fact that I am open like this is unusual.
Anyway, to the task at hand. A lot has happened in my life since my last post-I graduated with my Master's, left a job of four years that I loved. Experienced life with no home, no job, no car, and no means of provision. I found two jobs (that I love) and a place to live (which is just what I need), not to mention I have found the love of my life. God has blessed me beyond measure lately and, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea why. I have simply continued to live life as I always do-serving those I can, praying for those in need, and offering a listening ear or crying shoulder.
Most of you know the passion that I have for discipleship. It is something that permeates every facet of my being-it is consistently on my mind and I seek to assist others in whatever capacity that I can. However, the flip side of that is the debilitating feeling that goes along with an unrequited mentorship. I literally cannot fathom why an individual would reject such an opportunity-I guess I am just so hungry for it, that I can't understand why others aren't as ravenous as myself.
That, however, is not the subject of this post. I want to talk about something that came up in church the other week-the issue of our call, as Christians, to be salt in the world. The basic premise with this charge is that we are supposed to spread the message of Jesus Christ and change the 'flavour' of the people with which we interact. The most interesting aspect of this lesson (to me, but it's my blog-so deal with it) was the issue of the amount of salt.
Oftentimes, when we hear messages about being salt, the emphasis is on the mere fact that we are called to step out and 'salt the earth'. Yet, there is one important element to keep in mind: too much salt is not only a hindrance to taste, it can be downright repugnant. How many times do we see Christians who yell and scream from the pulpit, condemning everyone to hell and saying how terrible people are? Why do we do that/why do we promote that kind of thinking? We are Christians-do you know what that literally means? It is literally "little Christs"; there is something to carrying that title-we can no longer live for ourselves or our selfish desires. Instead, we must seek to live for and emulate Jesus Christ. So, I ask you: where does Jesus condemn the hurting and the hurt in Scripture? Please let me know when you find it.
Instead, Jesus speaks out against the Pharisees-the staunchly faithful religious leaders of Jesus' day.
Now before you jump down my throat, I acknowledge that there is a time in which you must decide what path your life will take and whether you are willing to become a disciple of Christ-but that's just it! We are called to be disciples, not people who say a prayer and guarantee 'fire insurance' aka a ticket out of hell. My problem with the kinds of evangelism that focus on saying a prayer and finding salvation is the fact that they are inherently deceptive-there is so much more to our lives as 'little Christs' than to just say and prayer and attend church weekly. God wants all of our person-God seeks that we would live like Jesus, that we would love people and share God's love with them.
It is not our task to change people or their hearts (and let me tell how thankful I am for that!)-when we assume that job, we quench God's Spirit and devalue the Spirit's role.
I know this post is kind of scattered and confusing and I apologize, but I couldn't really arrange it in a better way and it is difficult to effectively articulate my thoughts in such a fashion. I did want to get it out though and so if you want to discuss this with me, please do! I don't claim to be the authority on anything and so I am not so obtuse as to think I have everything figured out and that I have thought of every possibility. Basically, the purpose of this post was just an opportunity for me to get some things off of my chest and share some thoughts with you.
Kairos-moments that challenge us to be more,
David A. Bell