The older I get (24 is ancient), the longer I have walked with Jesus, the more I realize the Christian walk is a constant cycle of learning and unlearning. The Holy Spirit and the Bible are there to challenge us, to point out truth and untruth in our lives and too constantly change the way we interact in the world to be more like Jesus. A year ago, the things I was thinking about on a daily basis were different then they are today. Partially because I have settled on truth I believe the Holy Spirit led me too, and partially, if I am honest, because I lost interest in the ‘issues’ so important to me back then.
The past 3 months I have been trying to find the balance between being informed and knowledgeable about current issues pertaining to my faith and the world and simply enjoying the presence of Jesus in my world, community and life. I have written about this already. What I was thinking about this morning however, is how easy it is for young Christians to hold fast to certain ideas/opinions/things, thinking their minds will never change when it comes to those issues they feel so passionately about. Not to knock passion, we need it in our lives and Jesus demands passion for him. No, I’m speaking more about what I’ve struggled with and continue to struggle with daily when it comes to living in a world of constant input that demands opinions from everyone about everything. Secondary issues are easily elevated to foundational truths with a depressing and destructive effect on one’s walk with Jesus. Instead of His glory we see our own as we engage in imaginary intellectual debate and dream of comprehensively crushing our opponent and impressing everyone listening (admit it, we’ve all dreamt of it). This pride worms its way into our walk with God so even our times in the Word or in prayer are consumed by it. Then two weeks later we realize our hearts are dry and the God we thought we were honoring with our constant mental soap-boxing has actually been waiting for us to shut up and enjoy his life-giving presence, instead of making it all about our own intellectual fortitude.
I guess all that to say is IF I could go back in time and tell myself then (a year or two ago) what I know now, I would say “Relax. Focus on Jesus before any of the crap besides him you are so passionate about. Misplaced passion is one of the great tragedies of the Christian life. Remember why you love Jesus, all he has done for you, and realize the Christian life is a journey of constant learning and unlearning. Trust me, I’m from the future.”