I am a pastor but I find it difficult to relate with some fellow pastors and believers in Christ. Why? Well I suppose it is for the simple reason I don’t like legalism and am uncomfortable around people who think they know every answer to every question anyone could ever ask. It seems many feel a need know all answers or be found negligent. Others have boiled relationship with God down to a few ideas believed and things to be done or avoided. Life is too short for such nonsense.
I know almost nothing. I don’t write that sentence as pious jargon colored by false humility. I believe I know, relatively speaking, next to nothing. God is BIG and the little, tiny, infinitesimally small revelation of Himself to mankind can never amount to much of the whole of who He is, even if fully understood. And I readily confess I don’t understand much more than a smidgen of what has been revealed. If that means you can’t listen to anything I say, preach or teach then I dare you to actually find a man or woman who is genuinely any different than myself. But if my confession of ignorance encourages you to join me on the journey into what can be discovered about God then welcome aboard the USS Clueless. It should be a lovely ride.
My wife can tell you it requires great patience to live with me for a lifetime so God must be perfectly patient to consider taking me on for all time.
As to approaching God via my disciplined goodness (legalism)…I am regularly undisciplined and very often less than good. If things are dependent upon me I am in big trouble. My wife can tell you of the patience needed to live with me for a lifetime so God must be perfectly patient to consider taking me on for all time. There is a lot to be said for my good moments but they are often as quickly gone as they arrived. No, my relationship with God must be dependent upon His grace, patience and infinite love; the faith He gifts me on account of these will carry me into heaven one day. Of this I am sure!
I love all my brothers and sisters in Christ but I don’t always like them. I am quite sure there are many who would say the same about me; of course this means an opportunity to show grace, humility and love when we encounter one another. Just remember when you see me walking your way that I need all the help I can get in becoming the good work Jesus has promised I will one day be (Phil 1:6).
LOVE AND GRACE…
So let’s cut one another some slack, give each other a break and pray. Most of us could use some love and grace rather than the good kick in the seat others are SO often happy to extend. Raise the banner of ignorance and run up the colors of grace. There is bound to be a fellow traveler willing to come alongside and love you along the way. Jesus paid it all and its all to Him we owe. Sin had left a crimson stain and He washed it white as snow. None of this depended upon us in the first place.