I’ve lived an interesting life. It wasn’t the one I picked out when I was a little girl playing with my dolls. To be honest, when I was a little girl, I told God quite often I didn’t like my life. I questioned Him and complained non-stop. After all, what 5/6 year old wants to live through her parents divorcing and her oldest brother and youngest uncle dying within months of each event?
It just didn’t seem fair.
Then, add insult to injury, my Mother was always sick, working, or out.
I was jostled from friends, some family, sitters and day care – day in and day out.
And I thought my life was just completely unfair and I kept that attitude for most of my life.
As an adult, I found the self help section of the book stores. I read book after book telling me that if I just followed the steps they gave me in the book, I would have high self esteem, be successful, and live happily ever after.
Each book made promises it couldn’t fulfill.
Then, I hit a brick wall. It was one in which either way I walked around that wall, I would face some difficult decisions.
That wall (that sits at a fork in the path) is the one each person must eventually stand in front of and ask themselves if they are going to die to self to live for Christ – or continue walking in the way of the flesh – never fully submitting to Christ.
Right then, I decided the path to Christ was the way I wanted to go. Based on my childhood and other things I had seen (and done) in my life, I didn’t expect a rosy way of living. But, I knew it was the right way.
The more I have walked that path, the more I realize how many people are scattered on the side of the path. They began the walk and fell off as they began following the various ways people share the gospel with others. That road to heaven seems to be scattered with as many broken lives as the one that leads the other direction.
Having been a person who had read the self help books and grabbed on to every thing that should bring ‘peace and prosperity’, I noticed the signs that lead people astray.
Those signs are usually spray painted in bold letters: “you are good, you are amazing just the way you are”, “if you follow these steps: you will enjoy the same success we have in our home or church” – “God made you, therefore, the way you are is fine – you don’t need to change or let go of those things in your life the Bible calls sins” and “if you say this prayer, you are golden with God and never need to worry about anything ever again.”
There are many people out there right now asking why we are losing our kids to the world (not only our kids, but adults). You know – those kids who grow up in Christian homes going to Church on Sundays, spent a lot of time with their youth group and ‘followed’ the rules of being a good Christian. I mean, they followed the way that so many are told – is the road to heaven – “Say the prayer, go to church, be a good person and it’s ok to live like the world…just don’t be ‘of it” and by the way – “Jesus loves you just the way you are”….
But, that isn’t the truth of the gospel. That is a pragmatic view of Christ.
The truth is – following a pragmatic way of living as a Christian is no guarantee of anything. What works for one person, doesn’t always work for another – except one thing: Dying to Self as Christ did and FOllowing Him is the only guarantee of salvation. He is the King of Kings – so, we can’t ‘accept’ Him as if we have power over the one who created the world. But, we can submit our lives to Him – seeking to glorify Him in all we do. (yes, he gives us free will to lay our lives down and seek the freedom of bondage from sin.)
If you’re looking for a way to be the ‘best’ at something, be the best at seeking to serve Him. There are no guarantees of money, riches, clothing, big houses – that is not what He promises. He promises more than we could ever desire – but our hearts must be focused on Him.
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