“I prefer a church that is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church that is unhealthy from being confined and clinging to it’s own security.”
-Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
“Truth does not need a bodyguard.”
“Those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God.” – God
(1 John 4:7) TLB
“Our souls are restless until they find rest in Thee.” St. Augustine of Hippo
Diligently studying the scriptures to be right. Praying to please God. Dressing to display oneself correctly before God and Man. I wonder how he treats his neighbors?
” A focus on knowing truth produces arrogant, hypocritical, judgmental Christianity. A focus on living truth produces Christ-like, attractive, genuine-living Christianity. ”
Thinking about this quote, and the reality of the gap between the Truth we know about and our ability to practice that Truth consistantly, several things struck me.
First, as imperfect humans, there will always be that gap because of our fallen nature. We need God’s forgiveness for that gap, as well as recognition of our need of His grace. That in itself produces humility and the ability to extend forgiveness and grace to others who fail.
Is the danger our focus?
Secondly, tt seems if we focus on living LIKE Jesus, (who proclaimed Himself to be THE way, THE truth, and The life) that gap will become smaller and smaller. Our lives become a biography of Truth rather than a sounding brass or trumpet of truth. We become more little-Christ-ish. (And less assured that we are Christ-ish as we see how the gap remains and we STILL need MORE of His grace yet.) Christianity becomes a glorious display of the essence of God Himself in human form. Wow!
The peril lies in focusing on KNOWING more and LIVING less. We become self-assured, proud, un-Christlike, hypocritical, judgmental and vacant of the qualities Jesus called Blessed in Matthew 5-7.
Come to think of it; it seems Jesus had a lot to say about this.
Know Jesus! Live Truth!
That said– I am the one in need of His Grace!
In about two weeks exactly, I am headed for the Middle East. (Yeah!) Is it crazy to be so excited?? This is something I have wanted to do for years– finally!
There is an element of uncertainty too– with the world’s eyes on Syria, and the nations stepping over the line in defense of one or the other side. A lot can happen!
One is safest wherever the will of God is that one be. One is safest following Him wherever He leads, and letting the leading to Him. I would rather spend life serving and engaged fully wherever I am than always fearful to protect myself from every conceivable danger.
And I can’t wait to go!