Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Are We Settleing

It has been said by many different people in many different ways throughout the centuries. The single greatest fear is not Christians who will turn their back on God, but those who will settle for a mediocre version of their faith. If I had to pin point the single greatest struggle in my faith journey and the lives of those who I journey with it would be the acceptance of the mediocre. This attitude breads, apathy, and apathy leads to dissatisfaction, dissatisfaction leads to complaining, complaining leads to entitlement and ultimately we get in the business of telling God how to be God.

Knowing a willingness to settle for the mediocre is the greatest challenge, I am presented with an opportunity to help not only myself, but an entire congregation move beyond. In the mode of confession, I am not sure how to make this happen. I know that it is not anything I can directly do, it is only done by an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Another age old saying is that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

At the core of the struggle against mediocrity is a grave problem. Here is America especially, many people inside and outside the church do not think they need God for anything. It is easy for all of us to lose site of our dependence on God for our daily life. For most who are reading this and for most who interact with the church I serve, daily living is not you greatest concern. What this produces in us is a spirit of self-reliance. This is not good. I don't care who and how many people tell you that we should be independent people and not rely on anyone but ourselves, it is a lie. Not once in the scriptures are we commanded to go it alone. Not once are we told to look out only for ourselves. Not once are we told to be self-reliant. We are told, repeatedly, to rely on God. To walk with each other. It is so true that no one is an island.

So why do we still do it? Why are we so determined to be self-reliant? It may take the rest of my life to answer that. This I do know my self-reliance causes me to think I do not need God as much, which in turn opens the door to a mediocre faith journey.

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