Have you ever felt like you will never be good enough? Does your life seem to be surrounded by shadows of death and destruction? Maybe you’ve wished you didn’t have to live another day of pain, or watch the friends around you hurting needlessly. Sometimes it can seem like life is just one hurtful situation after the other. It can also feel like no one around you really understands you or “gets” who you are.
In my own life I’ve struggled with pain from feeling betrayed, abandoned, and let down by the people I loved the most. I’ve gone through more than my fair share of heartaches, and there are things I’ve been through that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. Even though I’ve often questioned what God was doing or why he was allowing these things in my life, I have never questioned God’s goodness or faithfulness. There are times I don’t feel him as closely as I would like, and times I don’t want to feel him close because I want to continue to run in my own direction.
I think in all of this, I’ve become more aware of the issue that leads me to a place of despair and disappointment. I can see more clearly what makes me cynical and jaded about life, and the people in it. The issue I’m speaking of is when Christ is simply not enough.
How can Christ not be enough you ask? Well, He is enough, obviously all the time, enough. At least that’s what we say. Our actions however can show a belief that hides under the surface, one we may not even know we believe. You can find it in every Christian circle. Generally I have found it in homeschooling, diets, parenting, marriage relationships, music and everywhere in between.
Any time I add on to Christ with something like homeschooling or The Maker’s Diet for example, I am saying that Christ alone is not enough. You can always tell when people have added on to their faith in Christ because they tend to be extremists about everything but Christ. Maybe they believe you are not obeying God if you don’t homeschool, or they dive head first into an eating plan that is “godly”. Maybe they don’t include Santa in their holiday celebrations or they only listen to Christian music. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that any of these things is sinful, right, or wrong. I’m just saying that when taken to extremes you have to examine yourself and ponder why you live this way.
On the other hand, and usually after many years of living by the rules above, Christians will turn away from these beliefs completely, and head in the opposite direction. It’s like a light bulb flashes and they realize they’ve believed lies for so long that now they rethink everything they once believed. They may not throw out God all together, but they go from extreme law, to extreme grace. Which means that now even the things they used to be sure of as sin and wrong, they question.
The most common thing you will find with people like this is that they are some of the most hardcore evangelists, though not for Christ, but for their beliefs. They are pro-homeschooling and will rally up the troops. Or they are pro-love and grace and will teach others to reconsider the truths they have learned from the Word because we have been reading it wrong for far too long.
Another common sign that someone has forgotten Christ through their add-ons is that they are weary, depressed, cynical, shells of a person. Which is easy to understand because apart from Christ we have nothing and if all you have are your beliefs about law and grace and no Christ you have nothing to give you hope or strength.
I think the saddest thing about this epidemic is that the Christians who suffer from Christ-lessness are so blinded by everything around them, and wanting others to understand what they “know” to be true, that they can’t see that they are dying. If they do see the emptiness of their soul they blame the horrible nature of people, pain, sickness, and death.
Today, I’m praying for the Christians who have forgotten their first love. The one’s who put Christ on the back burner and make things or ideas their Christ. Return today, to the one who saved you. Don’t fret any longer over the things you can’t control. Give your life back to him, and trust that he holds the world in his hands. Listen to the Holy Spirit, he will guide you.
Please brothers and sisters, return today. Stop dying and start living again.