It seems that for a few weeks every year I get in a funk. A “is-this-really-all-life-is?” kind of funk. A funk where I ask “who am I and what am I doing with my life?” but I struggle to land on an answer I like. A funk where nothing satisfies.
Sometimes this funk is hard to notice. Recently I found myself being short with my kids, uncharitable to my wife, and unmotivated in my aspirations. I started to wonder if something was wrong. On the surface, life was great. I still worked as many hours as usual. I exercised as much or more than usual. But none of life was particularly enjoyable. About two weeks into this I realized, I was in a funk.
As a pastor, when I engage with people who are in their own funk I try to emphasize the gospel. I tell them that they don’t have to earn anything. I tell them that who they are in Christ is the only thing that matters, and out of that identity true life is found.
This focus on identity is something I honed in on in my book, believing that if people could understand the implications of imputed righteousness it could shift how they navigate life. And while I stand by my words, and my focus on identity, I wonder if too much focus on identity in Christ makes for disciples prone to disillusionment.
If you only rely on identity in Christ to be a cure-all pill, what happens when life doesn’t seem right? “You’re supposed to be ok, you are in Christ!” you tell yourself.
The Gospel not only says you are made right in Christ (imputed righteousness), but it dares to say that you’re not ok, you’re a lot worse than you could have ever imagined. So my question of “is this all there is?” is actually spot on. It admits the truth. The Gospel says something is wrong, but it is being made right.
And that process of being made right is where the funk happens, but something better is promised.
I’m still in that funk, it hasn’t resolved. I’m not quite sure what the answer is. But I do know this:
I’m not ok, and that’s ok because better is promised and it is coming.
(Image: Evan Rummel)