Wednesday, June 21, 2006

à contre-courant

Recently I've been gradually coming to realise that what I want to do and what God might actually want me to do could well be 2 different things! It's a bit of a shock to the system to realise that, even though I did kindaknowbutdidn'treallywanttokknowsoinsteadburieditatthebackofmymind, and even more of a struggle to move towards actually doing it. And then that started me reflecting on the perfect example and I came to realise a few things
- He was willing to stoop down and meet people where they were, do things outwith the acceptable norm; not afraid to get his hands dirty
- He was willing to endure the cross
- and He went through with what he said he would do willingly though he had the power to evade it
- He understands

How completely contrary this is to my mindset, how contrary it is to the mindset of our culture, how utterly counter-cultural Jesus was, then and now. In a culture where all that matters is that we please ourselves, living a life with the objective to please God simply goes against the grain...


Just so you know, I did actually publish this on Thursday! ... silly date formatting on blogger grumphlimfrgrmph...


Anonymous said...

Hey dish! Glad to see your still bloggin' away! Just a comment- do you not think its a shame that you feel the need to give up on what you want, in a sense: who you are- for a God who should/will love you anyway. Shouldnt he want you to do the things which will make you the happiest?...


Anonymous said...

(add on....)is this not an example of faith breaking someone's will, their own identity, and bringing them into a state of submission?
If this was a man, and not God- how would you react??

In a manner condusive to debate and not to provoke anger....

Laws x x

andy said...

Well I can say from experience that what God wants is probably best anyway. There've been times when I've desperately wanted to go another way but looking back I know this would only have gotten me in a big mess and He was right all along.

andy said...

Also...should we not be willing to give up a part of who we are if that part is sinful? Nobody would think twice about asking a murderer to give up his criminal tendencies (is that how you spell it?) even though it is undeniably a part of his identity. Ya God wants us to change, but this is only to make us better people.

Anonymous said...

''Also...should we not be willing to give up a part of who we are if that part is sinful?''

No- not if you enjoy it. Of course, as your example proves- no man is an island. We need to apply the harm principle- if an actions consequences outweigh the benefits, or, if they harm other people for your mere satisfaction- then they are morally wrong. However, 'wrong' is a malleable concept. We think murder is 'wrong', but would you kill a paedophile if you knew you were going to be trapped in a school full of children with him for a considerable amount of time? The satisfaction of killing him would be ok, because of the benefit to children. Like- its wrong to take peoples freedom away, but if letting them have their 'human right' causes more harm to others than them losing their personal autonomy then its seen as morally acceptable.

So, in a rather rambling way, I guess im saying that moral standards are malleable, and if it will make you a happy and complete person to indulge in what you want to do, with your LIFE or even in a smaller situation- like the choice to have sex before marriage or not, then if it doesnt hurt other people, is surely better to be oneself than be so rigid in our faith that it will leave us wondering what 'might have been' if we'd followed our heart, instead of God earlier in our lives.


farr said...

yo yo, this is good chat so i thought id throw in my two pence although no doubt the discussion is bigger than a 2 pence...the morals thing is something i have been thinking about after watching 'united 93' maybe u understand if youve seen it, otherwise its irrelevent..but worth checking out for some good thoughts on right and wrong etc. I totally agree that morals in society are so often malleable and transient as culture changes in different ways but as Christians we dont have that problem because our one constant is God, we live our lives by his standards which never change, instead of living them according to the subjective standards of the world. By Gods word and by his spirit in us, we are informed and taught about right and wrong, in tricky situations we can use his word but also i think the spirit is a major thing here, firstly to enable us to read and understand the bible in the way God intends, so we can apply it appropriately to our lives but also if we focus solely on him and live by the Spirit, in all situations he will continually direct us and allow us to know with more insight and knowledge what is pure and blameless.

With the other stuff, "an example of faith breaking someone's will" a really interesting point but i think that is the beauty of Christianity, that God gives us free will and an almost independent power in our bodies which we can choose to use for his glory or for our own glory. When we become Christians we CHOOSE to submit to God's will because we recognise that he is the one true, perfect God, in whom we are truly alive and who (and only who) faithfully promises us life to the full, in all its abundance. As we live by grace and become immersed in it and consumed by Christ's love for us and washed in the Spirit, we begin being transformed, our human nature is made alive as we allow God's power to flow through us. Once we become Christians, through Christ we also have an powerful alternative to sin provided for us, so it does no longer control us. Along the way we make choices to deny our own desires, but this is in joyful obedience to God because we know that he his superior and his will brings us on the road to everlasting life. Whereas those sinful desires which often we do find so hard to sacrifice, only (eventually maybe?) end up in an unfufilled, guilty, meaningless life. And as we grow up in Christ's love and continue to soak in his awesome grace and all the wonderful things he has for us, instead of it being sooo hard for us to sacrifice these worldy desires, to follow Christ more closely...we are transformed and so much more attracted to the depth and breadth of amazing things that he has for us, that these wordly, fleeting things just dont appeal to us anymore and we are able to see them as the empty promises of true happiness they are. God does love us anyway and it is by grace that we are saved, not by works, but by denying ourselves, by losing our lives in this worldly realm we are then able discover an eternity of perfect love made possible by God, which it is nothing but a joy to be able to experience more of, as we get rid of the sinful things that blind us to the treasures and the wealth of undescribable-ness that God has, personally, for each one of us. ( i got a bit carried away and should prob edit but just gonna throw it in, please refer to the bible to ensure that it is true and a fair comment)

Dish said...

Wow! Never thought this post would generate such fabby humungous comments! Thanks for the questions and thought provoking ideas laws, I feel like since you addressed them to me initially I should at least say something.

- No I don't think it's a shame that I feel the need "give up on what I want" because what I want is to be like Jesus and I realise that as Andy said, ultimately God knows what's best for me, and he's proven that to me so many times in so many circumstances, large and small!

- Yes he loves me regardless but it's because of this, that makes me want to follow him and not necessarily "do my own thing" - i.e in gratitude to him.

- I think Farr's pretty much said what I would have liked to say about morals (though better), but she used the phrase "joyful obedience" which I'd like to pick up on. Obedience to God, done from the right reasons and with the right heart, is joyful and can be and I want it to be - hence why the link to "grant me a willing spirit..."

Basically what I'm trying to say, in a rambly kind of way, is I want to be willing to give up things that are maybe not what God wants for me, because he was willing to give his all for me, and I trust him with my life because he is the beginning and the end and good and just and loving and always faithful... I'd rather trust him than myself.
Feel free to say if you have any issues with what i just said