I think one of the greatest issues born-again Christians suffer from is the journey of letting go of their old lives – the habits, ideologies, or sin that go with it, and grow into the culture of a Spirit-filled walk with God. I don’t know about you guys, but one of the things that frustrate me most is when I really invest in something – especially time-wise and relationship-wise, only to NOT see growth in that area. And though I believe growth is ESSENTIAL to Christian life, I think we sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.
I have a degree in communication, and I am aware of the influence media has on us — I’ve seen this first-hand just by looking at the suggested pages on Facebook. Many of my friends are getting married (or got married) this year, and time and again, Facebook suggests wedding pages that I should like. I’m planning on getting married in the (not so) near future myself, so I figured, it’d be worth while. Which it was. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest — these things that show us snippets of people’s lives — help us shape our own ideas into pictures, giving us a back-drop against which to model our preferences and styles. And, though I think media (and social media, for that matter) has an important role to play (by letting us stay in touch with our friends — locally and globally), I think it’s responsible for a lot of world-warping expectations placed on us by the society.
So often I’ve come across people who are attempting to be different from the world — a good thing, in that you’re being your own person. But in their pursuit of unworldliness, they’ve become strangers to the culture they’re trying to change.
This morning I read a quote by Bill Johnson that I’m going to paraphrase like this:
“We do not become culturally relevant when we become like the culture, but rather when we model what the culture wants to become.”
In other words, the aim is not to be so over-saved that you become judgemental of whatever the world models, but to live out, in grace and love, what Christ represents so that the world will yearn after its fullness.
You see, the thing is, as we grow up, societal conventions have so many prescriptions on what is moral and ethical and good. And, whether you’re religious or not, and despite the culture you come from, I’m sure you’ll be able to agree that, more often than not, we face things that is out of our control. (And luckily so! The world would be a mess if WE we allowed to control it!)
I’m not saying that you should rebel against all authority and just break the rules for the sake of breaking them, because those are also needed — God appoints authority, and He is a God of order.
The point is, that, when we’re faced by these out-of-control-societal-prescriptions, our attitude toward the culture will dictate the direction in which we grow.
I believe that, ultimately, when we’re faced by growing-up challenges such as completing school, getting a degree, getting your driver’s licence, buying your first car, meeting the person you want to marry, getting a job — the real challenge is not to walk out scathe-free or without bruises, but to have gained wisdom in each circumstance.
You see, you only start to grow once you’re able to LET GO of those things — the habits, conventions, and ideologies of your ‘old life’ — and LETTING GOD turn those things into the building blocks that shape you into His likeness.
The aim of a Christian’s walk should not be to point out other’s sinfulness. The purpose of Christian living is to model Christ’s likeness. And we do this, by letting God turn our stumbles into LEGO.
Life in Christ changes you from the random little builder who just does what society prescribes without question, into an Injustice League member — YOU have the power to change the world.
Letting go is as much a journey of killing off those zombies that try to hack their way back into your life, as it is a journey of learning, trusting, gaining wisdom, growing into the likeness of Christ.
So, here’s my challenge to you guys (and to myself!):
Let’s model our culture to that of Heaven, looking to God for the way se should dress and talk and love and live, and not letting society tell us what is right and ethical and good.
Let us love without holding back. Let us forgive as we have been forgiven, and let’s LET GO those things that are out of our control, by letting God be Lord over our lives.