Saturday, 16 February 2013

Jesus wants you to love and obey him

Too much of a good thing may be unhelpful.

I wonder sometimes if I am the only one who feels somewhat downcast if he reads too many Christian blogs.

There's so much wise advice. So many accounts of life-changing insights. Wonderful affections towards Jesus. Flashes of penetrating insight. Explanations of how we're getting it wrong on this issue, that, and the other, by not bringing in the gospel into the right place or often enough. All good in their place. But is this a generally accurate view of the Christian life, as a whole?

At such times I am grateful that the Bible does not make these things the essence of the Christian life. Jesus wants you to have a heart for him and to listen to and obey his commandments. That may involve a continual stream of life-changing moments. On the other hand, it may involve an overwhelming amount of faithful plodding.

It's not the fault of any one blogger or movement. We all post about different things, because we have different concerns and audiences. But the total message in serious evangelical Christian blog-dom as a whole, to my minds seems to be drastically deficient in the simple teaching that Christians follow Jesus' commandments. The total message, when I try to step back and evaluate the whole, is of paying close attention to certain doctrines (which is understandable, as in every day and age there will be important boundary markers for any group that need to be re-inforced), of praising certain very gifted men (and would that more listened to their teaching where it is good, though it is helpful to nobody to cross over the line into promoting the culture of Christian celebrity) and of blogging about those wonderful life-changing moments (which can surely help someone in the same situation). But the Christian life, taken as a whole, is not like that.

It would be a mistake to expect the blogdom to reflect Christian life as a whole; but I'm sure we can do better. We certainly should, because it's easy to slip into evaluating your Christian life via the lens of what you read from others. The Bible's major accent is on follow Jesus whole-heartedly, whose ultimate expression is in being faithful in our particular calling. That calling may be prominent or obscure. It may be exciting every moment, or repetitive and uneventful. But that is not important. What is important is that you do what Jesus has given you with repentance, prayer and consistency, according to his revealed laws. Don't be distracted by the twin sirens of seeking emotional excitement for its own sake, or a dull and dry formality. Obey Jesus, from the heart, repent of where you fall short, pray for the Spirit to do better - but do make sure you get on with doing it.

Jesus is watching; not for drama, but for faithfulness to his commands.

1 comment:

Ned Kelly said...

You answered your own question with your final words: "Jesus is watching; not for drama". Blogs and other forms of social media are the modern form of drama where people go to read new exciting stuff, not old conservative stuff. If Christian bloggers mainly repeated the essentials of following Christ, people would stop listening. Ho Hum, boring! It is the same phenomenon as trying to make a church more "relevant" with new exciting programs to swell attendance. There is an old saying: you can lead a horse to water but cannot make him drink. The trick is to make him thirsty, but I have no clue as to how to do that.