So come on…
I need you so much closer…
The glove compartment isn’t accurately named….
Death cab last night with Ben West. Good stuff!
Wait for it…
It’s occurring to me more and more that my language and actions are not in harmony with what I say and think I believe. More importantly the knowledge I have of God doesn’t match up with my behavior in light of said knowledge. All that to say if I were to use Plato’s “Tripartite” soul as a way of explaining who I am, I wouldn’t be someone who is led by their rational desires, instead I would be an unhealthy mix of mostly appetitve, with some spirited added in once in awhile, and the rational only coming out in my language and not my action, and certainly not in my thought life.
Like Paul what I want to love isn’t what I love, and what I want to do isn’t what I do. I spend a lot of time lost in making sure people think what I am doing is right. Or, if I should be doing what I am doing. A lot of that has to come from the fact that I am the youngest in my family, and since I was a little kid I did a lot of following and listening to my brothers. I have always felt a lot of pressure to do what my brothers, my parents, and my close friends think I should.
I am also way more influenced by how people respond to me than I am comfortable admitting in most moments. I mean, this is most likely obvious to all of my friends and family, but to me it’s something I’ve tried really hard to hide. If I do something on my own, like release a song, or do a show, or share a thought, and I get no response it can sometimes crush me.
All that to say, I am learning to admit I am insanely human. But the coolest thing really is this realization that God is o.k. when me being insanely human. In fact that’s how God made me. I am not expected to get it right, I am just expected to chase God. God just wants me to change my approach. Move from the pursuit of others, other loves, other distractions and run to Him. Not as a temporary fix, or as something to get me by until I get married, or get that dream job I want, or finally get that recognition I wanted. God wants me to pursue Him, trust Him, and believe that He is all I need. And lemme tell you, that sucks. It means growing up in ways I never thought I could. It also means frustrating a lot of people around me, and making mistakes. But it’s all in the journey.
I would like to think I am a fair, honest, rational, person. In fact I am realizing I take a lot of pride in my ability to read people, to know human nature and predict what people will do, or what people are thinking. I do it all the time, and it sucks to admit but I really don’t think much of the people around me. I’ve allowed the predictability of human nature to limit the possibility of God doing amazing things in peoples lives.
I mean all you have to do is look at the research, behavioral scientist and researchers know a lot about how our minds work, how we emotionally work, etc… It’s easy to box people into their behavior and say “that person is this, they will never change.” However, although that makes life easier to take, and places us in a safe place of being in the “right” that’s not the stance Jesus takes.
Jesus says at my best I am not a “just” person. In fact if I am honest with myself I will admit that for ever fault I find in someone else I am guilty of the same. I am not a disciplined person by any means. I lack any ability to guide myself consistently to anything but the appetitive aspects of my personality. I am in fact ruled not by the direction of my so-called “Savior” but instead by the desire of what I believe in the next moment to be the thing that will save me from discomfort.
My assumptions of justice only magnify my need for Jesus’ justice, love, and reconciliation in my own life.
Sure I can blame others for the hurt I have caused, and the hurt that has been inflicted upon me. But the truth is we have all been wronged, and in fact my life in comparison with most people is pretty light on the “deeply wounding” scale. But that’s the thing we all fail to think of, how the less hurt we feel the bigger a small thing will wound us. We always fail to see others perspectives and choose instead to judge from our limited view.
Rather than choosing to believe something and live it out, we blame others for making it harder for us. Instead of going to Christ first, and immersing ourselves in His truth and love, we read some verses, talk about God, and ignore the parts about how we weren’t built to be the thing that satisfies each other fully, and expect the people around us to be perfect because they claim allegiance to Christ. That’s bullshit, in fact its the opposite of what Jesus says. If we are followers of Christ the biggest thing we need to fight against is the pharisee mentality of taking pride in knowledge that isn’t ours to begin with. We didn’t discover Christ, Christ discovered us, and therefore we are not owners of truth, but recipients of a great gift we have no business receiving.
rather than using the knowledge of Christ as something we take pride in, it should be something that ignites insane thankfulness and humility. But modern and ancient theologies and philosophies that were started with good intent have led us down roads that have led us away from the heart of Jesus.
I have a lot more to write, I’ll get to more of it soon… that’s where my head is right now though.
So I’m struggling internally with the idea of how to express art that is possibly offensive to some people. I have a project that I have released two cd’s with but is primarily “worship” or “christian” in genre. The new music I am writing covers the same theme’s in some way but from a much darker, abrasive place.
I feel a need to not betray my listeners trust by releasing something so different under the same artistic project, but at the same time feel frustrated with myself that I feel the need to have multiple projects so I don’t offend people. I’m pretty confused right now from that perspective.
should an artist be able to have an album that has worship songs on it, songs about relationships, and songs that condemn the church? should you be able to drop an F bomb in one song, and then see about Jesus’ love in the next? Should I be writing songs that have God saying “I love you so damn much” and “while you sit on your ass I’ll set things right at last.”
Kinda searching for the right balance and the right answers. confused.
I really get profound enjoyment from swearing… I mean for real, I love to swear like a sailor, it makes me smile. This enjoyment however comes into direct conflict with the culture that surrounds me. I still swear when in the right company so I don’t offend anyone. Still, trouble awaits me I’m sure.
Saved by faith, the work is to believe, but faith with out works is dead.
Does Faith allow us the courage and perspective to take the path that will stretch us the most, allowing us to work out the issues we have along the way? In other words, does God know that verbal expression or agreement isn’t enough for us to experience love so He gives a life to work out our demons and wounds.
Is this life just a journey that takes us from independent to dependent, ending at our death in the arms of our savior? With heaven being a life that has learned to accept love through intense struggle, and hell being a life that has rejected it and sought only its own gain?
If Luke 7 is a leveling of the playing field and we all have sinned much and so need much forgiveness, is this journey one of discovering our need, and then learning acceptance and trust (belief) in a God who loves us unconditionally?
We have so many dichotomies in our language and euphemisms that hinder us from this truth. The idea of being a “believer” in Christ shouldn’t have the connotation that one is “perfect” or “better” but one who is in the process of trying to learn what it means to receive love. Yet, it seems to end up being a statement of membership to a group that has something others need. Yet, the truth is we still have nothing of ours that is good. We simply have been given a small truth that has to grow in our hearts, as this truth grows in us humility invades our pride and begins to break us down even further. The only hope we have to offer the world is the brokenness that we so often try to hide. Instead of embracing our brokenness through transparency, we instead attempt to set up walls of security to ensure hope, to have no doubt of the truth. We make the living God we serve static, and hold him hostage in theology and works, pretending that the work of God is to make us perfect, rather than realizing that God made us human, needy, and dependent. He just wants us to learn to want Him.
This journey we find ourselves on is not one of seeking to attain perfection or rise above the pains and struggles of this world. It also isn’t to learn to brace ourselves for the next punch. It is indeed what Christ said, it is to learn to live “life to the full” (John 10:10.) To accept each other for the faulty beings we are. Beings who are “hardwired to struggle” (see: Brene Brown.) The message seems to be consistent in scripture: “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Roman 3:23) in fact Paul makes the claim a few times that if we chose to live by the law we will be subject to its rules because our belief becomes work based. But if we choose to live by the Spirit of Christ living in us we are placing our faith and our belief in Jesus and not our own work (Roman’s 8 talks about this) and when this happens the fruit of the Spirit becomes alive in us (Gal 5.) —Notice that if we focus on getting the fruit with out pursuit of Christ and the truths he has to say about us the road becomes much harder.—
Now the language here is specifically that of Paul, and very influenced by “Dualism” and the “tripartite soul” and all that, but it truly reflects Jesus words in the gospels as well. Jesus condemns those who believe they are righteous and invites those who believe they are sinners to live a life redeemed by His power. Simply put Jesus calls the Christians to stop doing things on their own power and tells the sinners the Christians have hurt or condemned to realize God loves them and turn from the lives they have lived and pursue Him. But in both cases the ultimate goal is Jesus calling people unto Himself, He is the main deal.
We don’t get lost in Jesus a lot, or argue about Him, but we do get lost in how the rules work or how our salvation works. Most of the language Jesus uses actually diffuses those questions and instead draws people to Himself if you look closely. And when people miss the point of what Jesus is saying it does get confusing (John 6 is a great example of that, watch how the conversation disintegrates slowly)
Jesus wants us to become dependent on Him, by focusing on those truths the work that we have in front of us gains more value. It’s not just a pick yourself up from your boot straps and make something of yourself type work. It’s different than that, and I don’t know to define that yet. But I am learning a lot about it. It just seems that when Jesus is the main focus of our lives things change, and sometimes the instincts that come along with that will pull us farther from Him, the difficult thing is to learn to continually rely on Him all the time. Bring Jesus into everything we do, not in a creepy way, or one that seems to hinder us… but in a way that allows us to live well.