Monthly Archives: November 2012

Just give up, it’s better for everyone

Flower

One is the loneliest number…

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about humanity is our propensity to forget things so quickly; I even amaze myself in this area. What is even more amazing is that I even forget my own personal thoughts and words quite often! Remember this post I made about community back in September? Well by the time November rolled around I had already forgotten what I said about community because I had to be reminded of my thoughts by an article in the student paper.

The article was entitled “Forgotten Flowers” and it compared single women with flowers in a field that grow and come into bloom so that they can be enjoyed by someone, but never are and die forgotten. Once I had finished reading I felt sorry for these Forgotten Flowers because their beauty was never enjoyed by anyone and they died unappreciated.

Disclaimer: I am not a woman and I am not looking at the article as I write this post. So if I am inaccurate in what I say following this feel free to correct me.

I also felt convicted that my attitude and outlook on marriage was not inline with God’s view. I am by no means opposed to marriage, but my attitude had shifted from desiring marriage (a few years ago) all the way over to the opposite extreme of desiring to be single because I didn’t want to be burdened with the demands of marriage in ministry. Now singleness is also not wrong by any means either, but what I felt convicted on was not that I wanted to be single, but my reasons for wanting to be single: it was motivated by a selfish desire rather than a God-given calling.

If, as the article seemed to state, that generally speaking marriage is something that women need in order to feel appreciated and part of a community (see disclaimer) then my attitude of wanting to be single because it would inconvenience me is most definitely wrong. If we never give up our desires and put others before ourselves (Philippians 2.3; Ephesians 4.2, 5.21; Romans 12.10) then we have absolutely no hope of achieving any type of community in the Body of Christ. My attitude was one of not willing to give up my own desires in order to benefit others in the Body of Christ and God rightly convicted me of this.

As of right now I do not have any clear direction from God concerning marriage or singleness. Neither has received a definite “yes” and neither has received a definite “no.” Whether God calls me to singleness or marriage I will accept it, but only on the basis that it is what God has called me to. For me cultivating this attitude has been a long and hard journey, but hopefully I am finally nearing the end of it.

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I don’t appreciate Jesus

A passage from Hebrews stood out to me recently:

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:14-16)

Body of Christ

What stood out to me about these verses was the fact of how little I appreciate this part of Jesus’

ministry, but it was probably one of the most appreciated aspects of Jesus’ ministry for early Christians, especially Jewish Christians. No doubt the need for a priest to mediate between God and man was engrained in the mind of the early Jewish Christians through the requirement of the sacrificial system that the priest present a person’s offering before God in the proper manner. God Himself was the one that instituted this system in the Law, not man, so it was a requirement of God that there be a priest to mediate between Himself and humankind. The Law was not abolished by Jesus, but fulfilled (Matthew 5:17). This being the case then there is still a need for mediator between God and man, a role which every human priest fulfill imperfectly and insufficiently, but a role which Jesus fulfills perfectly and sufficiently.

I admit that I do not appreciate this aspect of Jesus’ ministry and often take it for granted, but I recognize that this should not be my attitude. The need for a mediator can be seen in God’s dealings with the first Exodus generation: He wiped out that entire generation (except for Joshua and Caleb), even Moses, because of their sin. The lesson to be learned from this is that we, like that first Exodus generation, are too sinful, rebellious, and stubborn, or in a word, Fallen, for us to deal directly with God. There must be a mediator between God and us, otherwise we will be destroyed.

God is holy. We are Fallen. These are two simple, foundational truths of the Christian faith that are very hard for us to truly know. Intellectual consent to these beliefs is one thing, but believing them so that they effect how we live your lives is quite another. If I can truly learn these two basic truths then I think I will come to appreciate Jesus’ ministry as high priest the way I should appreciate it.