He refused to speed. His friends thought it was weird and annoying. They never let him drive when they went anywhere.
The guy never swore. He didn’t condemn others for it, but four-letter words never were a part of his vocabulary.
Even after he turned twenty-one, he didn’t drink. It made him uneasy, so the man completely avoided it.
He wasn’t necessarily boring. He went camping, hiking, fishing and sky-diving. He married a cute little blond who was equally absent of any remotely bad behavior. They lived quiet lives and never made much of a stir at all. One day, a neighbor approached him and asked, “Are you guys Christians? You never seem to cross any lines. You don’t even buy illegal fireworks for Independence Day. Everyone in this neighborhood does that! You’re so squeaky clean that there has to be some sort of religious reason, right”
The man shrugged, “This is going to sound weird. I have Astynomiaphobia. It isn’t a “diagnosable disorder”, but I’m terrified of cops. Basically, I’m scared of any authority coming down on me, so I’m good. I hate the idea of getting a ticket and wouldn’t last five minutes in jail, so why take the risk? Religious background? No. I’d probably freak out if I joined a church, I’d probably spend all my time trying please pastors and avoid hell!”
The unexpected answer to his question left the man speechless. He shook his head, took a drink off his beer, told the man to enjoy his evening, then went inside.
★ ★ ★
The thing about Christianity is that it isn’t about avoiding being bad. Frankly, the Bible fully accepts that you and I are evil, our hearts are wicked and that without Jesus, your fat and mine would go straight to hell to burn for a long time. Circumventing immorality doesn’t make anyone good, it makes for neutral people that almost seem to be passive. But that doesn’t mean anything because once we remember to add imperfection to the human situation, we’re all bound to fail and sin in one way or another.
I like that my faith isn’t focused on not being bad. But then again, the opposite is kind of almost true, too. It isn’t entirely about my goodness, either. I think I’m good. I’ll happily admit that I’m not great. If I’m honest, I’m basically evil, but I’m capable good actions but they don’t necessarily add up to much when compared to the Goodness that has been offered to everyone.
Jesus strongly encouraged people to do good, but offered his life because we suck at that game.
He really did make it all about Him when He did it.
Isn’t that fascinating?
Absolutely brilliant my friend.
It is fascinating. It’s also overwhelming. Good post, Jake.
It is overwhelming, because it feels backwards. I know we’re supposed to be good, but Jesus took care of that…. and in spite of the salvation offer, He STILL helps us to be better… it’s just weird and amazing.
It always amazes me that He still loves me even though I’m a lustful, selfish, immature, jealous, greedy, prideful idiot who continues to make the same mistakes over and over again.
And yet, it’s not about what I do or don’t do, but everything that He’s done.
Great post Jake!
Yeah, unconditional love is sort of a trip. It makes no sense, because we really do suck at things.
Fascinating indeed! Great post! You hit the nail on the head… That’s exactly what the world thinks. We’ve missed the mark on how we relate to a lost society. They think it is following rules, they haven’t been shown by us that it is being thankful for the gift no can earn or buy…
“Your fat and mine would go straight to hell and burn for a long time.” You certainly know how to make a point!
Floyd, I just hate the idea of a morality-driven religion when we’ve specifically been told not to perform. Yes, we’ll change and grow, become more Godly in the process, but the whole point is that Jesus did it all for us. Which is wonderful!
I was thinking about this exact subject last night while reading Romans. I understand this concept of course, but when I really think about it, it is still hard to wrap my head around. No matter how much I believe salvation is a gift, I still sometimes slip back into thinking I have to be “good enough”. God is amazing.
It’s so true! I think it’s difficult because there is a level of “morality” tied to our faith. It’s a result of our relationship with God, so the pressure to look good or be better than we truly are will always be there. I think we just have to remind ourselves that at the end of the day, He truly did it all.
The simplicity of the gospel. Jake I appreciate your continuing to keep the gospel at its purest form… Christ… Love your blog I’ll stay anonymous… But for the sake of discretion… Stay balanced and fair always and yearn for truth and justice… God will bring all things into fruition… never fret and remember to always be aware and to always look up… for we never know… that’s the last you’ll hear from me on your blog…
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