Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reality Check

by Andrew Cromwell

Every once in a while it is a good idea to make sure that you are living in reality. My impression is that there are many people who don’t do this often enough and they walk around with a false set of beliefs. Sometimes these beliefs are harmless, even if wrong (like believing there’s a frog on a log on a hole in the middle of the sea). Other times, wrong beliefs can cost you great grief and suffering (like believing that the stock market will always go up in the long run).

There are a few beliefs that it is incredibly important for us to get right. If we get these wrong, we risk losing everything. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, be afraid only of God.” We spend a lot of time worrying and being afraid of so many things, but if we can get a few things straight, then everything else will fall into place.

There is a popular belief these days that sincere belief equals true belief. We hear this expressed all the time when people say things like, “I’m spiritual but not religious.” What this means is that people want the freedom to pick and choose the elements of spirituality that they like but they do not want to be bothered with the parts they don’t like.

People want to be able to talk to God, but don’t want to be told that they have to change their life. They want to do spiritual stuff—light a candle, spread a prayer rug, quote a verse—but they don’t want to have to do difficult stuff—adjust their behavior, change the way they talk to others, pray when they don’t feel like it.

People want to believe sincerely that God is okay with them and their life.

But what if He isn’t? What if God isn’t okay with the pick and choose, consumer oriented spirituality? What if sincere belief is just not enough? What if He requires more from us?

Well, if He does, then we had better change our perspective!

I am inclined to believe that when one reads the Bible, there is a picture that emerges of a God who is loving and powerful and who wants to have a relationship with all human beings. But in order for that relationship to happen, we humans have to hand him the direction of our life. We have to be willing to put him in the driver’s seat.

The trouble is, we like the driver’s seat. I know that I do! But I have found that when I let Him drive, the trip is always better. 

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