My book releases this Wednesday so I thought I’d pass along an excerpt from it. If you’re in Portland, come out to my book release party this Wednesday night (info here). I’ll be announcing a special offer for purchasing the book on Wednesday as well, so if you’re on the fence about spending the money, wait a couple more days. This post has been adapted for my blog.
Growing up I always preferred to eat dinner from a portion plate. I had to keep my foods separate. My lettuce salad was too disgusting if the gravy crept onto the wrong part of the plate. Warm mashed potatoes mixed with wet green beans is not exactly my ideal meal.
Even though I don’t use a plate with sections anymore, I still hate to mix my foods. I’ve always thought that if the food were meant to taste better mixed they would have come that way.
I guess I’ve never grown out of this immature mindset since childhood. Even worse, I’ve lived out this same very same attitude as being a devoted-follower-of-Jesus at times, yet still finding ways to justify my choices to do what I wanted at other times.
Both of these examples demonstrate something we Millennials (me included) struggle with—an incessant desire to compartmentalize our lives. The fragmentation of our lives is in total opposition to the holy God we say we want to live for.
Pick and Choose
The word holy is derived from an Old English word meaning whole, but the various areas of our lives are completely separate.
When we’re at church, we become our good Christian selves.
When we’re at school, we become our smart and intellectual selves.
When it’s the weekend, we become our fun-loving, have-a-good-time selves.
And rarely do any of these personalities we’ve created ever cross paths.
We go through life as if who we are is no different than picking out a snack at the local food market. We act a certain way with some friends so they’ll accept us. We make sure some people know we go to church, but around people who don’t follow Jesus we make sure they know it’s not anything we take too seriously.
Somehow we’ve believed the lie that if we are good Christians for one hour a week, God will pour out his mercy on us and take us up His stairway to heaven.
He does love us with an unending grace, right?
So we choose to stay as immature Christian believers who go to church to hear great music and be convicted by great teaching, but once we leave the church we enter into another one of our personas and leave everything from church at church to pick it all up again seven days later.
We’ve all met the person who changes in every environment. Maybe we are that person. What needs to change?
All of life is connected to God’s presence in our lives. (Want to tweet this?)
Until we begin to live with this in mind, we’ll continually change who we are in order to manipulate each situation.
When faith becomes nothing more than disconnecting from our normal life to attend church to make sure we’re good with God, we’ve completely misunderstood our calling.
Somehow we’ve believed that the totality of the Christian life is found in the belief that God saved us. Clearly, this is true, but does it capture the entirety of God’s desire for our lives?
If this is the culmination of our faith then Christianity then becomes just something we accept, nothing else. No wonder we feel the need to constantly adapt who we are. Beliefs disconnected from our affections rarely change the way we live.
What were we saved for?
It doesn’t take much to simply believe in Jesus. In fact, that doesn’t cost us anything.
But following Jesus, that’s another matter. There’s no greater cost than following Jesus. Our holy God doesn’t want just one hour of our attention on a Sunday morning.
To get your hands on the entire first chapter of the book and to receive an email reminder about the special offer this Wednesday, click here.