Tag Archives: Struggles

Christians Who Fail to Do

I have been away from this blog for a little while now and I am finally starting to feel the draw to come back and write.  I believe I have stated before that Christians have a responsibility to share aspects of their lives with other Christians in order to help them know they are not alone in their struggles.  The biggest struggle I have been dealing with is “not wanting to”.

There is not a person alive who can honestly say they have never not wanted to do something.  Whether it be going to see family or going to work, there are activities that we just do not want to do.

Often we will end up doing the activity, as there can be negative consequences if we do not, but there are many activities that we do not perform, simply because we do not want to.

When was the last time you saw a homeless person on the side of the road looking for money?  Did you avert your eyes as not to make eye contact with the person as you drove by?  Did you justify to yourself that they were most likely going to use the money to buy alcohol so you were doing them a favor by not giving them money?  Perhaps it was another excuse, like you wanted to help out but all you had was a twenty or larger.

Last month, I had a friend who has struggled with trying to remain celibate approach me to say they were going to hook up with an old friend and have sex.  I asked her if she was wanting me to talk her out of it and she reply “No, unless you feel moved to do so”.

How many times have we put that condition out to God?

God, if you don’t want me to do X, send a sign.  Otherwise I will assume it is ok.

It doesn’t matter that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible speaks against something and we will struggle with incredible guilt, we want to do what ever it is.  It is the simple truth Christians often ignore, but we want to do things that feel good at the time.

At the time, I did not feel like going back through the speech about how bad she would feel after she had sex or God wants better for her than simple physical pleasure.  I honestly did not want to have to muster the emotion strength to do it again, so I didn’t.

I told her that she already knows that would be said and that she should honestly do what she wanted to do.  Christianity should be based on the voluntary submission to God and not the forced compulsion that usually comes from guilt and shame.  She did not end up having sex as the guy disappeared, but she was not saved from the shame based on my action.  Maybe my inaction allowed for God to demonstrate His power by making the temptation go away.

Regardless of what the outcome was, I did not feel like doing what I was supposed to do.  I did not feel like being emotionally supportive to her during her struggle and I often wonder what kind of guilt I would have shared in based not on her actions, but my lack of action.

I want to share more stories like this, as everyday life is where people are struggling.

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Hardness of Heart towards God

I have another one from Mark.  I have daily Bible readings on my phone through the YouVersion Bible app, so that is why they seem to go chapter by chapter at times.  It is a neat app and allows you to download many different translations so you can switch back and forth and get different perspectives on who they interpret the language and grammar.

Then he went up with them into the boat, and the wind ceased. They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.  (Mar 6:51-52)

This is from the story where Jesus feeds the 5,000 men.  I thought it was interesting, because in my prior readings, I have passed over the fact that His disciples’ hearts were hardened towards Jesus.  It is kind of a big thing really if you think about it and reading it has made me stop and wonder why.

At the beginning of the story, Jesus and the apostles were meeting after they just got back from going around and spreading the Gospel message of repent and turn towards God.  Then Jesus told them to go with Him to a private place, but as often happens, the people saw and followed.  Jesus decided to teach the people many things and at the end of the day, the disciples suggested that He send the people off to. Get food.  He said no way and made the food they had enough to feed everyone and there was a lot left over.  Then Jesus leaves and walks on water.  This is the synopsis of the Mark version of events.

Now at the beginning, Mark uses the term Apostles, which would refer to the 12, but then the word changes to disciples, so that would mean all that were following Jesus and calling Him teacher.  I think this was intentional, as I believe scripture is inspired and comes from God, but I suppose it could be an accident.

Anyways, when Jesus gets on to the boat, some of the disciples, if not all of them, had a hardness of heart.  This is also translated as stubbornness.  They did not understand what Jesus did with the bread in order to feed the masses and because of that, they put up a barrier between them and Jesus.  That happens a lot though doesn’t it?

How many people do you know have a hardness of heart or stubbornness towards god because they do not understand what He is doing?  I am not sure why we feel entitled to know, unless it is that issue of not wanting to let go of control of our lives, but many people are offended towards God because he does not choose to explain what He is doing to them.

It is frustrating when it happens to you, as when I do not see God moving the way I expect or even at all, I start to question if I did / doing is the right thing.  For me the thing to remember is to keep going back in prayer and not question if what I am doing is right, but I do pray for direction and peace.  It is a faith building process.

I have friends, who I try and tell this to, but not all of them are responsive.  It is nice to see the break through in thought that God is the one in control, but it is not learned or practiced overnight.  It is a good reminder that even those people who followed Jesus and walked with Him in the flesh has these same issues.

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