Originality, Lonliness, Authenticity, and Beauty
This semester has been very busy. Consequently, I’m not able to post as often as I would like. I want what I write to be profitable both for me to write and for you to read. It takes a good deal of time to write a good post, and so instead of compromising quality, I’ve chosen to post less often. Hopefully I’ll return to posting three times a week again in the future.
These thoughts aren’t in any particular order. All of them deserve a much longer treatment, but I want to share them now. Hopefully they will be profitable to read.
1) Nothing I think or write about is original. Unlike copying literature, spiritual plagarism is pleasing to God, for lives lived for Christ are meantto be copied. Twice Paul tells the Corinthians to plagiarize his life. “Follow my example, as I follow Christ.” The phrase “actions speak louder than words” is a cliche, but it has been repeated so often because it is true. Being in leadership does not raise the standards, as all Christians are called to be as holy as God is holy. Rather, the stakes are raised, as responsibility in a public setting multiplies the effect of godliness and failure.
2) Walking closely with the Savior means being lonely in the world. Few people in this world seek to please Jesus Christ with every fiber of their body and every moment of their waking consciousness. I’m not speaking of perfection, but rather of a drive and passion which can only be explained by a radical gift of grace given by the Holy Spirit. The world does not understand grace in its entirety, and many Christians do not understand the transforming nature of grace. In Pastoral Ministries class, Rick Holland asked us a question: Are you the holy man in your relationships? Are you the restraining order on what movies people watch? Do people think of you when they contemplate their actions? Being in this place is a lonely place to be, but it is to be close to the Savior (Assuming this to be godly holiness and not Pharisaical legalism.)
3) God makes His will clear. Though He does not speak audibly to His people as He did to Moses, clarity still marks the counsel of God. It is easy to forget about the Holy Spirit! The Spirit constantly moves and shapes the desires of our hearts, illuminating the paths we ought to take. I never cease to be amazed how time clarifies the will of God. Patience is a virtue which is all but lost within Western Culture, but it is the medium by which God makes His counsel known.
4) We are to be known as people who love God in His entirety, not just one facet of doctrine. I’m reading a book by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg entitled On Being a Pastor. If anyone is interested in pursuing the pastorate, you should read this book. In it, they warn against being known as “axe-grinders.” Identifying yourself solely with a specific doctrine is damaging, as much of God’s fullness and radiance is glossed over. There is more to the Christian life than baptism, sovereignty, eschatology, etc. We need to study deeply each of these topics, but none of us should ever be known as “The Baptism Man” or “Mr. Divine Sovereignty” because we neglect the rest of God’s glorious revelation!
5) Nothing is harder or more paradoxical than authentic Christianity. There are so many tightropes to walk in Christianity. I am called to be hungry, yet satisfied; thirsty, yet filled; filled with joy, yet grieved over our sin; radical, yet balanced; wise in finances, yet willing and eager to give all away; innocent as doves, yet crafty as serpents; all things to all men, yet not forgetting to be the unique person God made me; dissatisfied with my lack of holiness, yet content with the Spirit’s work in me.
6) Our cursed world still radiates beauty.Go watch a sunset and remember that it is a tainted, imperfect sunset. The sum glories of heaven are beyond my comprehension or imagination. God’s beauty shines so clearly through the veil of our sin, think of what glory we will see once our imperfect body is done away with and the veil is lifted.