So, the excellent Phil made an excellent comment on my last post. He pointed out that really my thoughts might just be another person throwing a ‘no but I’m right’ way of living with God into the arena. He has a point.
So what are we to do? Just sit around declaring we are right and others are wrong? I’m not sure, I’m generally suspicious of people who are definite about all the tiny little details of life with God and who want everyone else to follow their tiny little details. I think it’s probably good that we call people to stop doing that and let us all breathe a bit when it comes to this walking with God malarky.
I’m definitely going to shout for people to stop doing it when they make my friends sad because they’ve heard the message that you can only talk to God in THIS way or only have a relationship with God in THIS style. That’s when I think it’s ok to get angry and give people the freedom to relate to God in ways that are helpful and enable them to believe this crazy never stopping love of his.
But, there comes a point when we really need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. We could spend years worrying about what other people think, what other people believe and how other people relate to God. There might be times when it’s helpful to do that but mostly obsessions of that nature hide what is really going on in our own hearts. What does God say? He says, ‘this is the one who I esteem, he who is contrite in spirit and trembles at my word’ (Isaiah 66:2). Am I doing that? Am I paying attention to what really matters. Do I tremble at his words, take them more seriously than everyone else’s? Am I contrite? Do I recognise my own flaws and failings and am I bringing them to God? Am I trusting Him to work in my friends lives? Am I trying to be the judge of others rather than leaving them in God’s hands?
Jesus tells Peter, when he enquires after John’s fate at the end of John’s gospel, to stop looking at John and says to him: ‘you must follow me’. At the end of the day I could spend lots of time worrying about what others are doing and thinking but Jesus says to you and me, come, follow me. It doesn’t matter what others think of how I do that but it does matter that I’m following Jesus.
I want to do all I can to clear away the rubbish that has stopped others following Jesus freely. I want to challenge thinking that squashes the weak, the broken and the hurting. But I think there comes a point when Jesus calls me to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and walk with him myself, loving him, being loved by him and loving those around me.
What do you think?