"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

missing the big picture

Dom and I had a conversation about contentment the other night that got me thinking. I don't find myself to be a very content person, and this bothers me alot. I told Dom how I can see God, and this is true. I see God in lots of things. he drops me little reminders when i'm out for a walk, or when i'm reading or talking with a friend, or driving in my car. yet, still I'm not content. I hear God too. I hear the things he tells me to do and to not do, and though I hear his voice speaking to me, it is so hard to obey. then Dom, in his wisdom said, "Ty, maybe you don't see God." huh? of course I do. look at creation, look at the beauty all around us. Can i not see God in this? God is so big. there is nothing profound in this statement, just a simple truth that can never be grasped. Sure i see God, but yet, I still don't see him. I don't see him in his "bigness". If i could see the great plans he has for me, see him in all his glory, then there would be no way I'd be discontent. there would be no reason to struggle for obediance, and foolishly alow my feet to walk my own path rather then hike the adventure that God has layed out for me. how can one know God's will, yet still avoid it? It defies all logic, yet poses as the only logical thing to do. obeyig a invisible God doesn't seem to make much sense. seeing an invisible God doesn't make much sense. and yet, its the only thing in life that does make sense. and so, the struggle continues. Whom will i love first?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Truth and relationship

As Christians do we sacrifice the truth we know for the sake of relationship sometimes? This is a question that I have been letting sit in my mind for the past few days. As a youth ministry worker, and youth major at school, I am beginning to think that this is an area that Christian's often struggle with. We know the importance of relationship, and we hold it up as what ministry is. After all, is it not in close relationship that we build the trust and foundation in which we can best share God's truth with others? But even so, I have just acknowledged that this relationship has the purpose of sharing truth. So really, our main objective is not the deepness of our relationship,but rather the truth we are speaking into another person's life (youth pastor into youth, for example). Sometimes this truth hurts, and will create distance in, or even destroy a relationship with the person we are speaking truth into. Yet, it is my belief that if you are sacrificing truth for the sake of a relationship, then the relationship is not healthy in the first place, in fact in some aspects, the relationship has already been destroyed. It is a relationship based on fear, rather then truth. We are scared that God's truth might just sound a bit to harsh, and if we teach it, without smoothing off the edges a bit first, without glossing over the stuff that could possibly offend, then we may just lose our opportunity to speak into this persons life at another time. But when we do this, when we water down God's truth for the sake of saving our friendship (or mentoring relationship in the case of youth)we are stepping out of our role. Our role is a role of trust. We must trust that in presenting God's full truth; the unabridged, and dare I say it, sometimes offensive truth, that He will speak into that youth. If that person is offended and walks away from the church, it will be the work of the Holy Spirit that will bring that person back, not us. We are also making the implication that this young person is to weak and unwilling to stand in God's firm truth. If we are implying this, then we are implying that God cannot give this person the strength he or she needs. It is foolish for us to wonder why so many people, especially young people are unwilling to stand up for their Christian faith, when we have taken the strength out of it, when we have watered it down. We make God's sword into a dull butter knife. Who, in all human existence, has ever wanted to stand up for weakness, for the easy route? We preach tolerance before truth, false friendship before God honoring relationship. Christ in his love, never sacrificed truth in order to bring people to himself. We too must also recognize that if we want to truly build God honoring relationships,real relationships of love and trust, then we will, and must offend others at times for the sake of speaking into their lives. We cannot reflect Christ without being offensive.