why do i care to not smell like a perspiring human? what makes profanity offensive? why must i mourn the death of a loved one?
sometimes my best medicine is my dog. she loves her walks, and getting fed at 6:00. for my dog, life is simple. she would not recognize my deep, inner turmoil, or the complexity of my life, but she recognizes my face when i walk in the door. she knows the smell on my pant leg if i've been around another dog. she instinctively knows when dinner time is. how do i love such an ignorant, selfish animal? morally, my dog is corrupt. she is not considerate, empathetic, hospitable, or virtuous in any way.
i continually come into contact with people who want answers to questions. they want advice. they want to be told what to do. they want someone to understand them.
|My dog, Annie|
if i told my dog that the bag where her food is kept lies in the next room, gave her a leash and a scoop to take with her on her walks, showed her where her dog shampoo is, and then left for a 2 month vacation, i would come home to a dead dog. my dog has not developed opposable thumbs to open the door to her food, or developed a sense of human tolerance to walk herself without coming into contact with other dogs and violating someone's property rights, or able to determine when she smells too much like a dog and needs a bath. i would then be faced with animal cruelty charges.
often i feel like the answers i give to people's questions are unsatisfying. the advice i give is irrelevant. i fail to empathise with them. i feel like a dog who knows where the food is, but i can't open the door.
i fear a new movement in christianity is on the rise: relevance without godliness. christians trying to relate to everyone's problems, but failing to give God's divinity justice. agreeing that christians have bad taste in music. that we look foolish when we worship. that striving for holiness looks like arrogance. if we see someone confused about direction for their life, we tell them to pray more. if we meet someone with an addiction, we tell them to quit. if we find someone struggling financially, we tell them to tithe.
christians have a habit of saying uncool things. ever have a conversation with someone, and bring up God, and watch them as they get this glazed look over their eyes? i get discouraged. immediately what comes to mind is that they've heard it before. they've tried it and it doesn't work. it's like i can see where they're coming from, build up to a climax where i'm going to offer some deep, philosophical solution, and i bring up God. a beautiful letdown.
i think we need to re-establish what godliness means. godliness means humility. what does it look like? is it something that is desirable? 2 Peter 1:3-8 talks about making one's calling and election sure. adding to your faith. a systematic breakdown on how to become an effective, productive christian. it is some of the best advice i have received. we talk about christianity like it's a breeze through life on a white, puffy cloud, without a care in the world. we tell people about the hole in their heart that is immediately filled with the acceptance of Christ. yet we see 80% of born-again believers fall away from God. we see children raised in christian homes going off to college and leaving church behind. do we keep these statistics in the dark? are we embarrassed by what the records show? somehow Christ's "unfailing love" has failed a lot of people. either that, or they never found it in the first place. i tend to believe the latter.
sadly, people have heard where the kibble lies. they've even heard about the master who opens the door. how do they get His attention?