I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. About a lot of things: life, family, relationships, the state of the world. Frankly, for an overthinker like me, there’s a lot of available options to dwell on, given the current reality of life in 2020.
But especially recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my faith. And the toll 2020 has taken on it.
Let’s be honest — for a “cradle catholic” who has never missed Mass a day in her life – (except one Sunday in Iceland when there was literally no church within a 4-hour radius) – going nearly 4 months now, without physically going to church…it has had a greater impact than I’d care to admit.
Sure, I watch a livestream of Mass on Sundays, but it’s just not the same. It’s missing something.
And as a result, I’m afraid I’ve frolicked my way into the quicksand territory of “Good Person Christianity.”
You know what I’m talking about — the…But I’m a “good person,” so I must be solid in my faith … mindset.
For example, I am what you’d call… a “waver.” I like to wave at people with a smile. Running, passing people on a walk, driving — doesn’t matter the situation, if our gazes pass, I’m gonna wave at ya. I call it the Midwesterner in me — my friends call it absurd. But whatever you call it, it’s a nice feeling to make someone smile.
But that’s the thing: God doesn’t want a church full of “good people” who wave at their neighbors, or give up their parking spot at the grocery store. A wave does not, a Christian, make. He wants a church full of believers. He wants a church full of people who have invited Jesus into their hearts and prioritize that relationship. And then let that change them. And sure that may result in behaviors that read as “nice” from the outside — but it needs to go beyond just that surface level.
And I’m afraid I’ve fallen into that convenient, surface level “safe space” of “good person” Christianity. I’ve developed a cruise control faith life, thanks to quarantine.
This social isolation has forced us to take the initiative when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. It’s made us take responsibility for prioritizing our walk with Christ — and unfortunately I think I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.
Christianity in 2020 is a different breed. Life circumstances and the cultural climate in 2020 has challenged Christians to take the initiative in their spirituality without the guiding mentorship of a physical church with people and pastors and fellowship and togetherness.
We’re on our own. We’re out to sea, in a single passenger “dingy,” and the waves are roaring and crashing, and it’s up to us and our own personal sailing skills to navigate the rough waters.
So today’s the day I’ve decided it’s time to take control of my ship. It’s time to tighten the sail, grab the wheel, and get back on track. And if perhaps, some of this sounds familiar to you, then I’d like to invite you to do the same.
Starting today, I’m going to prioritize my relationship with Christ. I’m going to listen to worship music around the house. I’m going to make time to spend a minutes in the Word. And I’m going to pray for the Holy Spirit to move in my heart to want to love Jesus more.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing? A friend shared that with me in college – she would always pray for help to want to love Jesus more.
And I think that is exactly the ticket: wanting to love Jesus more. Desiring to fall more in love with Jesus every day.
Being a “good person” is simply not enough.
Lord, transform my heart, and help me to want to love you more.
What are some ways you plan on strengthening your walk with Christ?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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