The pain to power principal and why I BLOG

I have been pondering recently why I like to BLOG on occasion.  I came to a lot reasons why I don’t BLOG and just one reason why I do.

Not reasons I BLOG:

  • I don’t BLOG because of some narcissistic tendency to hear my own voice or read my own thoughts
  • I don’t BLOG just to make some point over all the other noise in the world

The only reason that I BLOG really is:

  • I have a rare story that I tell that shows the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ at work in my life. Yes, this BLOG only discusses categories and principals rather than specifics but the story is embedded between the lines if you read carefully.

I was once told by a mentor that humility is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and not being ashamed of either one.  The BLOG is a bold attempt to tell what I can of my story publicly.  At a level that a public audience can handle.

So…….  I was reminded today as I listened to another woman’s story of her  pain and  tragedy of something I call the pain to power principal (based on a passage in 1 Corinthians ) so I thought I would re-blog post I did a year or two  back or that loosely applies to her story of pain.

Its been a while since I have blogged.    Too busy at work and then tired at home, etc is the issue.  But as is normal I have been tossing and turning over some scriptures and continuing to be part of my mens group where we talk about a lot of things.

In recent weeks, months, years I have been tossing and turning over what compels a devoted Christian to change, grow, and be sanctified and to be put on a forward moving spiritual journey in Christ.   So many people, friends, and marriages seem to have recurring issues that revolve around the same sin coming up again and again.  Some of these friends are heavily into sound doctrine, Bible Study,  and devoted Christians.  I have written about some friends(a couple) and myself that have a broken friendship.  In the last couple few years the husband showed in one of my church groups I attend.  We had a time upfront of sharing some of our concerns and struggles.  What was said amazed me.  He went on to explain how something he had said when he was dating his wife 25+ years ago was being held over his head.  In my opinion the husband  may have pulled this couple in to the pits but the wife was responsible for consistently placing a glass ceiling on how good this marriage could be. I guess you have to take my word on that since I observed them over 20+ years.

When sin occurs in our personal world I have seen how people (in this case this couple) can narrowly redefine truth in a way that glorifies ourselves, makes us look good in comparison,  and gives us haughty eyes.  We can use truth to tear each other down rather than have a narrative of mercy that can honestly see our sin but also  allows us to openly work on our sin in the presence of Christian family and friends.  This couple spent years building up a pharasaical, self righteous, unmerciful view of the world.   In the comfort of their house they saw themselves as ‘good Christians’ and found security in critiquing the world and other sinners from their glass theological house.   However, when the the issues of the world crept in to their house they had to live with the same self-righteous, poorly designed  “system” they had created. Now keep in mind that I am over-emphasizing some things to make a point here….. I do believe God is working “All things for His good” and that through hardship and suffering this couple will continue to grow in the mercy and grace of the cross.

Lets continue on ……

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is…
We are more sinful and weak than we ever dared to admit and…
We are more loved and accepted than we ever dared to hope.

I call it the pain to power principal. If we can embrace our weaknesses and sin scripture tells us we see the power of the Christ and the gospel. Unfortunately, when proverbs talks about sinners with haughty eyes it means ‘relative to that person I am not so bad’.  Haughty eyes  is a dangerous, common recipe to create people who become stuck in the same rut of not changing and who keep revisiting the same kinds of sinful events in their lives.  People with haughty eyes  have the ‘I am basically ok’  ….. and when I do sin and that person is so much worse attitude.

Keeping the gospel central and continuously living in repentance is the only way keep us on this forward moving spiritual journey.

That is my thought for today.

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4 thoughts on “The pain to power principal and why I BLOG

  1. Juli

    Hi Jon,
    I find interesting your choice of words in the phrase, “devoted Christian.” This indicates that there can be “undevoted” Christians and that doesn’t seem possible to me. If we understand our sinfulness before a holy God, that He came to this earth in human form, that He lived a perfect life and died a painful death, paying the penalty for all of our sins, that He was buried and then resurrected so that we can be in a right relationship with God by repenting of our sin and trusting in Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation…..then we are Christians, plain and simple. We understand what it cost Christ and He effects the change in our hearts and provides the ability to live for us to live for Him, lest our “devotedness” be like filthy rags and make us into haughty individuals. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your heart. I enjoyed the read.

  2. centralityofthegospel Post author

    Hi Juli, Good comments!

    I guess the topic is really one of where people are “stuck”…. post salvational. Scripture talks of “saved people” as if barely escaping as if through the flames. Some sings are easy to see… but many we are either blind to or refuse to let go.

    The couple I refer to in this case…. had a recurring issue of self righteouss pharasaism that hindered their growth. They have numerous broken relationships. … ,many of which are justified broken because of their faith. But my observation is this was more pharasaism. Sometimes Jesus was first … other times… perhaps Rush Limbaugh! We were the only friends from his side to make it through their marriage and still be friends after our teen years…. even then it was difficult at best to feel close to them…. and we were also devoted Christians.

    Have you ever tried to be close to some Christian friends … but in your heart of hearts said “Whatever type of Christian I want to be it is not one like that?”

    Scripture also talks about one of the most common areas people get “stuck”. Both types of people have hope in an eternal destination…. The question is, here and now, this side of heaven, what are we doing?

    All I can say is the Gospel should promote us to get wooden with our sin. When we get wooden with our sin and “get real” change and growth will occur. As the gospel and message of the cross grows on us … sanctification, personal growth, and change in our hearts occurs!

  3. centralityofthegospel Post author

    Juli, to be honest I consider this couple very devoted and highly knowledgable Christians…. more so than most! The problem is how has this knowledge impacted them. Has it caused them to become self righteouss, living as personal guardians of all truth, and easily spewing out words of anger and lacking in forgiveness and mercy with each other …. and me as well in my sin!

    I have made some attempts to reconcile this friendship and ….even today … the door is open for them to come back in to a friendship. However, I fear it is a lost friendship. And I do questions what kind of boundaries and safeguards me and Sue would need to keep if we became friends again. Sue and I talk a lot about those boundaries that are needed to protect us from even well meaning people and Christians. However, I have hope that in the grace and mercy of the cross that this couple can grow into something better, more real and intimate, than what they had before.

    In the meantime, this is real story that points to the 2 sinners in us. One of the elder brother and one of the younger brother. Unfortunately, as in the parable of the prodigal son, the elder brother may never become aware of their sin and its impact on the message of the Gospel and the mercy of the cross. This story is now a part of me and God is asking me to keep it central!

    Your question was actually quite timely for me….A God thing? Thanks Juli!

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