Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

May 12, 2005

Quoting Bloo

Bill at Out of the Bloo said something yesterday that is just too good to let pass:

In my observation, living even an intense and God-honoring Christian lifestyle with the focus reversed, with our eyes upon ourselves, leads to burn-out, loss of faith, and disillusion. The self-obsessed Christian begins performing, begins trying to meet an expected standard of behavior and devotion that, without the element of joyous self-forgetfulness that is the very mark of childlike faith, is in the long run impossible, and can only result in a dry and frustrating existence. When one is running in the mud of self-scrutiny, with his peripheral vision constantly scanning the faces of those he believes are looking on, stopwatches out, "timing" him, it's not long before the runner slows, and then stops, and then slowly sinks into the mire.

This should not be! We are called to firmer ground, and to a cloud of witnesses who are cheering, not evaluating. And we are called to fix our eyes on Jesus, not just to glance at Him now and then. When we finally focus, when we truly look to Him, we forget ourselves. And it's then that we run, finally, in the freedom, joy, endurance, and athletic, lithe grace for which we were created.
In a couple of days I'll be meeting with two friends of mine to form a small accountability group. One of the things I'm going to share right at the start is this quote. I think its "the bomb."


Blogger Kim said...

I think this is "the bomb" too! But what does one do when the church he attends actually promotes this kind of thinking? I sense this being promoted among the youth group my kids attend, and every now and then I have to talk to my kids and remind them that we aren't called to "perform."

Thanks for this today!

7:30 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Good question, Kim. I don't know the answer exactly. Does anyone else out there have any insight in this matter?

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Bill said...

Bob - thanks, as always, for the kind words!

Kim, I'm struggling with that very subject too, very close to home. I think that we need to rediscover what grace is, and rediscover who we are in Christ (Bob has a great series on that, btw :-)

So much of the church these days is driven by the concept of "success". The problem is that we don't always recognize success when we see it, and we often misidentify it. I don't say this as a "church-basher", and I don't mean that just because a church is a big church it's doing something wrong (I go to a relatively big church myself). But we are truly "driven" these days, and that makes people want to perform. I've seen the results of that and it isn't pretty.

Good topic.

11:18 AM  

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