christian’s biggest challenge

Category : Matthew, different, faith


You’re sailing along (metaphorically of course), with everything going along just fine.  But there comes a day when every Christian must confront a major problem.  A challenge that threatens to ruin everything they’ve worked for.  So what is that challenge?  Is it sin?  Is it falling away?  Is it doubt?  Is it wishing you weren’t metaphorically sailing, but actually sailing?

All of those are very real issues.  But I don’t think they are the biggest danger.  I think the biggest danger happens when we lose sight of God’s grace.  The danger is that we become so self-assured that everything is “right” with God, that we no longer know the answer to the question, “what’s the point?“.

So we begin to believe that our behavior is the point, not God’s Kingdom.

If you look at who Jesus got most annoyed with it was never the prostitutes or sinners, it was always the religious elite.  Why?  I think it’s because they were so self-assured that all they could do was be condescending toward other people.  Isn’t that human nature after all?  That once we reach the top all we can do is look down on people?

They lost track of the point.

The only thing that keeps us from becoming religion snobs is focusing on God’s grace.  The instant we move into snob territory our relationships go from “relational” to “transactional”.  We focus on the “what can I get from helping you?” model, instead of “how can I love on you?” model.

That’s a dangerous place to be, because we think we’re doing the right things.  But we aren’t.  Let me illustrate this with an example.  Sometimes when people go out into the cold they start to drink alcohol, thinking it will keep them warm.  But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact the alcohol thins the blood, increases circulation close to the skin and releases heat even faster.  Despite being completely assured that they are warmer, alcohol victims end up freezing to death. 

That’s how self-assurance works.  It convinces us that we are exactly where God wants us, when in fact we couldn’t be further from the truth.

There is perhaps nothing worse than thinking you are safe when in fact you are headed for destruction.  Christians must always take time to take a measure of where they are and where their lives are headed.  When we don’t, we run the risk of running aground.