Who am I saved for? Myself, Jesus, or the world? I can’t tell. I hear messages proclaiming prosperity, joy, peace, and love, and me just enjoying the crap out of life. I love these messages. They make me feel good about who I am, and tell me that everything is going to be OK. I step away from these messages into warm days with beautiful blue skies where even if everything isn’t perfect, it’s headed there so I have nothing to worry about. Forget about child molestation, rape, murder, and everything else that is happening in my neighborhood. Forget the old person in front of me who can’t manage to push hard enough on the pedal to accelerate to the speed limit, I’m certainly not shaking my fist at them calling them names that I shouldn’t. Forget those hourly occurrences that now answer to the title of “mistake”. At one point in time, we called that sin. The list will continue to grow about everything that isn’t right. There are ugly people out there! They will get you! Of course I’m kidding with that (somebody has to lighten the mood)! What I’m working toward here is when do we remember that we are sinners in a world that daily is raped and pillaged by the devil? When will we stop seeking joy, happiness, peace and calm?
My disclaimer is that there is nothing wrong with peace, joy and happiness. I pray for them daily. Not only that, but Jesus has won the battle, so ultimately, everything is going to be all right. But, when do we treat the positive emotions as painkillers and facades? How often do we take a couple of Tylenol, not realizing that we have made nothing better, we have only managed to shut out the pain? Pain tells us that something is wrong. Pain motivates us to change something. Pain cries out to us on a level that we used to have to acknowledge, but now we have found ways around it. Pain is imperative to a Christian walk. (I contest that anger is too, we’ll see if we get that far right now). When I avoid pain, who do I rip off? God allows certain events to happen in our lives for any number of reasons. We screw up daily, and our mistakes come with consequences. Herpes anyone? I understand that might have been vulgar, but in many cases, that statement holds a lot of truth! The mistakes that we make carry consequences with them. God forgives us, Jesus Christ died on the cross for those very sins, but He never said that He’d (always) take our consequences away (sometimes he does though, praise HIM-that is generous)! That’s a way to avoid greasy grace, is to understand that even if we don’t experience immediate results due to our propensity to sin, there ultimately can be a consequence. God also allows pain into our lives for the purpose of growth. Working out sucks. If anyone were to see me, my pale thin form would prove that I live out my convictions to that statement. Working out is no fun because it hurts, and will make you sore, sometimes for days! But lifting weights, running, and all that lovely torture associated with exercise makes for a “great body” with lots of rippling muscles, or at least no love handles. How many of us want that body without the effort? I know I do!
God has emotions too. I know, He’s perfect, and you’re probably quoting 1 John 4 right now, but love is more than an emotion. In Genesis chapter six, we see that God, “The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” Our evil caused him pain-He wasn’t even working out! We too will experience pain due to our own evil inclinations.
What happens to people who don’t know Christ when they see fake Christians forcing smiles through life? I don’t think that they believe us. Not only do we smile through everything, but Christians seem to have a illegitimate fear of anger. I will tell you right now that I’m angry (You’re not shocked). Not all the time, but stuff in life makes me mad, and I tell people. Proverbs 4:4 says, “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah” God even ends with “Selah”- meditate on that for a while, is what the almighty is saying to us. The Genesis account of creation tells us that we are created in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27). God gets mad. We will too. God becomes angry at sin, and so should we. I get mad at my own sin, I become irritated at others’ sins sometimes, but I try not to judge (not always successfully, mind you…I try though). I mess up, so do others. Are we supposed to be fine with it? Put rape or molestation in that context and see how passive you are then? Sin is sin. There are no varying degrees to it, no one sin is worse than the others. People grade sin. I got an A in wrath the other day! (That is nothing to be proud of Johhny) When someone who has no clue who Jesus really is sees passive, empty-headed religious folk who don’t KNOW how to react to certain events, they don’t get a good picture of Jesus. I get mad, and I think that sometimes, God is proud of me for it. I get mad and sin though too, so don’t take this to any extreme, or I’ll fight you.
Getting back to my original question, “Who am I saved for…?” I ask again? Who do I put up a front for? Me, Jesus or the world? I seek my own out of selfishness, and therefore am taking the gift of salvation for me, not being a light to the world. I don’t represent Jesus accurately, and I don’t offer any saltiness (which I equate with anger, it just seems so fitting) to the world! I didn’t become a Christian for myself, but to glorify God and to lead others to the salvation offered at the cross by Christ. When they see that I’m not perfect, and that life continues to be a little challenging, but understand the grace and mercy that accompany salvation, they get a good picture of what it means to follow Jesus. I want to show people that. I want to be offended by the right things (I mean offended, not in the Christianese sense) and show some righteous indignation sometimes! It’s more genuine, and I feel a little more Christ-like than when I just smile at people. Emotional confusion is not righteous confusion. There is nothing righteous about it, so don’t do it.
Heresy is taking any doctrine or principle too far, so I’m going to plead with anyone who reads this, please don’t run too far with it. That too would be bad. Christian Drama should be limited to the passion plays and movies. Don’t create any in your own life, because like I said earlier, crap will hit the fan, you don’t need to make any more come along or blow it out of proportion.