Sunday, March 18, 2012

Complaining, Complacency, and Compassion (Part 2)

Whoops, here's part 2.  Sorry about the delay, life has been at warp speed lately!  And that's kind of a good thing...busyness is normalcy for the Prudhomme family.  In case you missed it, my post about complaining was the first part of my three-part blog series.

I love coffee, in case you had forgotten.  If you want to be friends with me, offering me coffee is a surefire way to move along our friendship.

In the morning on my way to work, there is nothing that I love more than to enjoy a cup of piping hot coffee with vanilla, hazelnut, or amaretto creamer.  If I forget to make it at home (which is more often than not), then a quick McDonald’s or Starbucks stop is often in order.  Oftentimes, I find myself the coffee ninja at work, stealthily grabbing a mug of coffee from the office just before first hour starts (Amanda, I know I at least owe the office coffeepot at least one coffee can…I promise I’ll do that sometime soon!).

If I make coffee at home, I like to hold onto the cup the whole way to school.  My son watches me drink it on the way to Montague, where I drop him off.  Is it any surprise that “coffee” is already in his limited vocabulary?  He says “coffee” and then he usually immediately follows up with “yuck”.  I’m not sure if he’s genetically related to his father and I…that’s never something that we would say.

Anyway, so why am I rambling about coffee? I’m getting there. Once I get to first hour, I usually set my mug down and start teaching.  I’ll have a couple of sips here and there, but sometimes the mug is abandoned for a lengthy time period as I go about my daily business of shaping lives and imparting knowledge.  Inevitably, I will come back to the mug as second hour nears and I will take a sip.  Sadly, travel mugs still have a long ways to go in preventing coffee from ever getting cold.

Yuck!  Lukewarm coffee!  Often I spit it right back into the mug.

Guess what?  That feeling of disgust that I get over lukewarm coffee is exactly how God feels about complacent Christians.

Revelations 3:14-18
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
   These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see."

I have statements to make that might rock your world.

Just because you darken the doorstep of a church on a regular basis, does not mean that you are a passionate Christian.

Just because you read your Bible on a fairly regular basis, does not mean that you are a passionate Christian.

Just because you pray, does not mean that you are a passionate Christian.

I’m not condemning Christians that go to church, read their Bibles, and pray.  I feel quite the opposite: all of those things are totally essential components of our Christian walk and should be done.

But is there a passion in your heart to see God’s kingdom be furthered and to serve Him recklessly?

Is there a yearning in your heart to know His character more intimately, to feel His presence in your life more strongly?

Is there an aching in your heart for the same people that break God’s heart: the orphan, the widow, and the lost?

Being obedient to God is more than just following rules and having good behavior - it's an all-encompassing, totally motivating, deep and insatiable desire to see God's work be done.  It's what drives one to wake up in the morning and do what they're called to do, and to reach out to the hurting.  It's what drove men to literally drop everything and follow after their Savior.  It's what drove Paul to endure unthinkable hardships to see God's work be done.  It's what calls people to dig deep into their pockets and give well over the standard 10% of their income to the Lord.

Note that the passage from Revelations says, "I know your deeds."  If you love the Lord with an all-encompassing passion, the way you live your life reflects that.  How you spend your time, your talents, and your treasure is going to be a reflection on the depth of that passion.  If you are insular and selfish, you'll probably spending the overwhelming majority of your time, talents, and treasure on yourself, your house, and your own family.

Comfort is the biggest killer of this passion.  Comfort breeds complacency.  If you are content with your cute little life, your comfortable microcosm of Christian culture, and your like-minded group of friends, then I would seriously challenge you to find a way to step outside your comfort zone and see what God may have in store for you.  Following God is not just about going to church , but about being recklessly and passionately devoted to the things that He cares for.  What have you done lately that has stretched you?  What are you committed to doing for the Lord that makes your life even remotely similar to Paul's life?  If you can't find anything, then you might be a complacent Christian, as unpalatable as lukewarm coffee.

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