Boring things to do with your Friday night…

Yesterday I declared to Heather that there is a blog entry sitting in my head. She asked ‘what about?‘, I said ‘I don’t know‘. I sat in front of the computer and began to think and type a little, and then finished this entry this morning. I was trying to think of specific things that God has said to me or taught me recently. The truth is, I wouldn’t say there has been anything so profound that I have been stopped in my tracks, the light bulb above my head hasn’t lit up, and I haven’t declared “THIS IS IT! Time for a awe-inspiring blog entry!“. But we do love it when God speaks to us like that, clear, precise, obvious, challenging, thought-provoking, deep and meaningful, and all wrapped up in a one-liner for us to write as a status update and make some wall art for it, before slipping it into conversations with friends.

But sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes we feel ignored by God. Sometimes one-liners from epic War Films seem to challenge us more than what God is saying. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other avenues to hear from Him. For many Christians, the term ‘read your Bible’ was over-used in Sunday School and now it is an empty phrase that has no meaning, rarely done and is probably widely considered in the Top Ten of ‘Boring Things To Do With Your Friday Night’.

Please get out of that mentality asap.
Why do we think like this? I know it is not the Bible itself that causes us to think like this, it’s the way we read it. It is so much more than a book. It is life-giving, thought-provoking, pattern-changing, direction-altering. Read it with an open heart, wanting to be challenged, ready to learn, prepared to hear from God. Too many of us want the divine audible voice of God, but aren’t willing to simply pick up and read the divine words of God written down first!

If we are not hearing from God, pick up your Bible and get reading. Think about what you’re reading, pray about what you’re reading. Then listen to what He says.

‘Rules Rules Rules. Oh, and by the way, have a good life’

This is such a difficult concept to grasp as a (spiritually) ‘older’ Christian. Ask most people their thoughts on Christians and one of the first words that will come out of their mouth will be something to do with ‘rules’ or something they are ‘not allowed to do’.

How has God’s awesome story of His love for His creation become a book of rules and regulations? Too many Christians read the Bible as a whole set of rules and laws that need to be obeyed otherwise they are not ‘good Christians’. Sure, the Bible gives the greatest help and guidance to us, how we can get the most out of our lives, how we can truly ‘live life to the full’ and come into a real relationship with God. But, I feel the Bible is being used and distorted by so many in order to condemn others and elevate the self. The Bible is entirely inerrant, but unfortunately we are not! Too many of us use the Bible as a way to belittle others or a way to justify our judgemental attitudes towards others.

I don’t discount myself from this. I know in the past I have read the Bible as a ‘don’t do this, or that, or that or that. Oh and by the way, have a great life’ (yeah, sounds great). From this way of reading the Bible I have then found myself judging others because of their lifestyles because according to me they are ‘below par’ in comparison to my life. This is not helpful to myself, or them. However, daily I’m changing this attitude.

So in conclusion, a little message to us ‘older’ Christians. Let’s get off our high horses about everyone else, lets stop judging others, throwing Bible verses at people which makes them feel condemned, guilty and totally alienated from any possibility of ‘living life to the full’. Instead, let’s love people in the way Christ loved them, meet them where they are at. Our obedience to God needs to come from a love for him.

Thoughts on a postcard (or a comment to save 26p on a postage stamp).