Sunday, September 4, 2011

WARNING: Throwing Rocks Will Get You…Nowhere Good!

Over the past several months, I have written many blogs.

Most have been completely about me.

What I mean by that statement is that rarely have my blogs been motivated by a genuine love for others or even a true concern for God's holy church. Instead, most of my ramblings have been about my desire to be heard by others for my own glory. God has shown me this and I know it to be true.

You see, when you are in the ministry spotlight it just feels good. People pat you on the rump (figuratively….most of the time) and tell you how awesome you are on a regular basis. Such things can lead one to have a very inflated view of oneself and unfortunately it all can be very addictive. There's nothing wrong with affirmation, but "my-oh-my" it can really go to your head!

So what do you do when the ride comes to an end? Anything you can to keep the spotlight on yourself.

And that….is what I did with my blog.

Now it's not that I don't believe the things I wrote about because I certainly do. I suppose much of what I have shared over the past several months needed to be said, but not from someone who had no heart for God's people (that'd be me).

The truth is somewhere along the way, I lost "my way". Religion has a way of doing that to us. It leads us farther and farther away from His presence and deeper into ourselves. Still as much fun as it would be to blame "religion" for all of my baggage, I just can't. Honestly, most of the blame falls squarely on my own shoulders.

Ministry was always a mixed bag of motivations for me. Did I truly want to see people change and experience God's love, healing, and grace? Absolutely, but I also would have to admit that I enjoyed the power, prestige, and sadly…the money. As a matter of fact, I am quite sure that the motivation behind more than a few of my ministry pursuits was mainly about a paycheck at least more than it should have been. Again, it's not that I didn't care because I did. Still, God makes it very clear that no one can serve two masters at the same time, and I certainly found that out the hard way. Doing it for the money will leave you with an empty tank every single time!

People often ask me if my blogs are in response to some deep hurt I have experienced. Most of the time I respond no, but I can't say that is completely true. I have been hurt many times, and the scars run deep. Christians are great at putting on a loving countenance and welcoming you with the firm handshake of "Christian" fellowship. BUT, most will not hesitate to drive a knife in your back if deemed "necessary" for the "greater good".

How do I know? Well, I've certainly felt the pain from betrayal and unjust attacks more than once. Still, lest I over play the "poor little me" card, I should note that my own little religious blade is stained with the blood of more than a few wicked "thrusts" of my own.

Indeed, you will find no clean hands here. I've been a killer of my brothers and sisters as much as anyone out there and that saddens me more than I can say.

With that you might care to ask "now what"? What does one do with such revelations?

Well, for me the only choice has been to take it all to Jesus. All the deceit, half-truths, and mixed motives must be dealt with and only Jesus is big enough and strong enough to handle it.

The result: I'm finished.

I absolutely have NO desire to even pick up a rock much less throw it at anyone in my church family (that'd be all of you). All that's left is a desire to follow Christ and pray that He would be so gracious as to allow me to love on others along this journey. By the way, I say that with fear and trembling realizing my own capacity for stupidity and foolishness! Truly I realize that apart from Him, I can do squat!

I pray (by God's grace), that I never again write anything for my own glory, "shock value", or especially out of bitterness, hurt, or pride.

If I do, you should be so kind as to call me out on it!

If it doesn't come out of a heart of love and a sincere desire to help my brothers and sisters, I will not type the first letter. Now, that does not mean I will not write something you may disagree with, but I can assure you it will not happen unless I am convinced it is bathed in love and has been covered with prayer.

Again, I am finished with my little "sack of rocks". It is quite heavy and not at all stylish for a man of God to carry!

So, what about this little blog of mine and all my past jargon? Well, I started to delete the whole thing and just be done with it, but I'm still pondering that possibility. Part of me wants to leave it up as a reminder to me of what I don't want to be and of all that God has taught me. Again, it's not that I disagree with most of what I shared, it's just that so little of it was written in love and that disturbs me.

So if you have any wisdom to share with me regarding this decision, I'd be grateful to hear your opinion.

With that, I am simply waiting. Waiting to hear from God and praying for the courage to follow His leading. As of now, I have no desire to seek out a church. This is not due to any unresolved inner conflict. Rather, it is just that I really feel that my family and I are where we are supposed to be. That's not to say that I am not open to change. I have submitted to God that I will gladly lock arms with anyone out there He chooses to partner us with. So for now I simply wait, listening and hoping that He who began this good work in me will indeed bring it to completion.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and it is my hope that you will remember my family in your times of prayer.

And if you don't, I will throw a rock at you! (joke)