God has been showing some things to me as of late. In particularly when I was in Missouri mixing sound for my churches camp.
Christianity is ugly, and I say that in the most beautiful sense. The discipleship and following of Christ had an ugly beginning. When we look at ourselves as Christians we think we have to look as if we have everything together. As if we a few struggles every once and a while but its no big deal. The idea of which is not just ridiculous but cynical and insulting towards Christ. I live my life trying to portray this false reality of young struggling college student who intrinsically just desires after God. But it’s a lie.
We should call it what it is. I should call it what it is.
Christianity is an ugly, violent, grotesque, dirty, painful, tear stained, blood soaked and hard thing, and that is being nice about it. Lets think this through. Christ, the Savior, was wrongly and violently murdered. Above all else it was God’s righteous plan:
“(4)For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love (5) He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— (6)to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. (7) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:4-7)
God knew was to happen. He planned it. Because He wants us.
He was murdered. God’s Son was taken and beaten and mocked and stripped naked and murdered. He wasn’t just murdered, but He was violently murdered. He was nailed to a peace of wood to die. I know we hear it a lot and we all have some kind of cross or another but don’t take this lightly. I have… To add to that, Christ was the only man that ever lived that did not deserve the penalty of death unlike everyone else who has ever live, who is living, and who will live. I deserve the penalty of death.
Christianity was born through violence and the shedding of innocent blood. And that’s how it had to be. This is the legacy we live our lives for. Sacrifice.
And that is all we have to boast in:
“(12)Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. (13) Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. (14) May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galations 6:12-14)
So why do we, why do I, think that I have to always clean up my sins. Do not think that I’ve gone grace crazy because Jesus states so simply and directly “15′If you love me, you will obey what I command.’” (John 14:15) What I am saying is we think we have to clean up ourselves and make ourselves look presentable to the rest of the world and by extension God.
“(8) If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (9)If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10)
Lay your sins before God, be honest. It’s not like He doesn’t already know. It is a practice of faith and trust in Him who created us. How can we begin to follow Him unless we are willing to give Him all of us. We, also by not giving things up to God claim that we are sufficient and He is not. Through our action and lack of trust we are saying God lied and Christ is not enough.
Further more bring your sins to one another.
“(16) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
We are all of the same seed. We are all fallen and broken. We as Christians should be able to bring are sins to one another for encouragement.
“(34)’A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (35) By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’” (John 13:34-35)
God loves us so much He forgives us for EVERYTHING. And in the same way that God loves us we are to love one another. We should not judge or look down upon one another but should be able to struggle with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to strive towards serving God. So we share our struggles.
Christianity is an ugly thing. It was never meant to be pretty and so many times we try and dress it up to make it look appealing. The thing is that our faith isn’t appealing when its fake, its appealing when its raw and bare and bleeding, its alive.
“(12) Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,(13) for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
This ugly thing, that is following Christ, is an on going struggle. So bring the ugly things to God and share with one another and encourage one another as we struggle through this vicious battle to serve our Savior and God. Because Christianity isn’t pretty and it isn’t meant to be.