It is unreal that we could have a sense of superiority over others. The conversations I keep hearing about how the world is lost and going to hell bother me because they aren’t punctuated with broken hearts or cries to God for the souls of His creation. I also realise that over the years I contributed to many such conversations and my unaffected behaviour didn’t help anyone. I must also admit that I never really thought about it until recently because I was comfortable being born again and destined for heaven. Talking with D was good but I raised too many other questions. I need to clarify my thoughts.
Shalom baby girl. How are you?
Yes I am.
What’s going on?
I’ve been thinking!
My little thinker!
I’m not little you know?
I know, but you’re my baby girl so well… That aside, what were you thinking about?
The love of God
What about the love of God?
How we receive and spread the love of God.
Is this because of your conversation with your brother the other day?
You know about it?
Of course I do.
I asked him why you had a long face and were so silent and he shared your thoughts with me.
What do you think?
I’m more interested in what you think.
You know what I think from what D said.
I want to hear it from you.
What I think is simple! I think it’s important for us all to love everyone as God loves us.
Don’t we all love God?
I don’t know!
What makes you have doubts?
The way we behave.
Who is the ‘we’ you are talking about?
And how do believers behave?
Seemingly with a sense of superiority!
All of them?
Then can you qualify your statement?
Many believers live and behave as though we are more superior and special than others.
Why do you say that?
It’s evident in how many live!
We have all made the choice to follow Christ. This choice was made possible because someone took the time to tell us about Him in love. They saw our need for God and shared the gospel with us. We listened, evaluated, and made the choice to follow him.
What are the most common reasons people choose to follow Christ?
I don’t know.
Fire and brimstone! An easy life!
What do you mean?
How is the gospel often presented?
As a way out!
Way out of what?
The hardships in life.
It is also presented as a way into heaven. It’s the way to avoid burning in hell for eternity. It is the way to ensure that your afterlife is set and in a good place.
Isn’t that what salvation is about?
If salvation is ONLY about eternal security then that is too lame a reason to believe.
What do you mean?
If God’s plan was only to save you and get you to heaven, wouldn’t you have died the moment after you got saved? Wouldn’t you have been in heaven because this earth is too contaminated for you to remain lest you lose your way? This would ensure that the reason for salvation is met and never fails.
Wow! I had never thought about it that way. So why do we get saved?
Why did you get saved?
Well, initially it was about…how did you put it… hell and brimstone.
Initially….did that change?
Well the reason I got saved remained but I am still saved, aren’t I?
Why are you still saved?
I want share the life changing love of God with others.
How do you do that?
Living like God would have me do.
That’s too general; Break it down.
I was young when I came to Christ and I understood walking with God to mean that life would be smooth. I thought there would be no challenges and as long as I didn’t sin I was good. There was a long list of things I didn’t do because they were sin and a list of things that would show the world I am a good Christian. I understood that as long as I did not do any of the bad things I was walking in righteousness.
Did that help you grow in your faith?
I grew in a way I think.
It helped me grow in a sense of being better than the next person.
What do you mean?
I didn’t drink alcohol, party, do drugs, lie, covet, read bad books, watch certain kinds of movies, have sex, so I was righteous. I was walking tall with my nose in the air because I was in control of all my faculties.
Was your life really that pure?
I was judging people as evil and less than me. I was deciding who to talk to and ignore. I was more concerned about looking right and being seen as good than about the state of my heart.
What was wrong with the state of your heart?
I had become judgmental as well as entitled.
I had come to believe that since I was doing all these good things, God owed me. I was walking aright, serving in church, living for him so surely He would bless my life and give me all the things I wanted.
At that point did you know you were judgmental and entitled?
No! I was certain I was walking in the way of the Lord.
Did you get everything you ‘deserved’?
You know the answer to that Papa!
I want you to tell me though.
Ok…no I didn’t get the things I thought I deserved. In fact, my life was one big struggle?
I don’t know!
So, what did you do?
I prayed and fasted longer and more frequently. I increased my giving. I took on more responsibility at church. I walked away from all my non-Christian friends and sought to only interact with them as need be but not all the time.
Did anything change?
I was heartbroken because those who weren’t living according to God’s way were doing better than me, climbing the corporate, business and wealth ladder at a rate I couldn’t understand.
Were there other believers doing the same things you did who were growing in leaps and bounds?
Yes! in fact there were many.
So what was wrong with your walk and your life?
That is the thing I couldn’t crack! How could we be doing the same things and achieving different results? What did they know that I didn’t? I spent lots of time thinking about what was going on in my life and came up empty.
So what did you do?
I continued doing the things I was doing hoping that things would change.
You know doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is madness?
I know that now! At that time I was applying faith.
Did the application of faith work ;-)?
No it didn’t.
I stopped and cried, I riled at God, I dared him to make things work for me. I demanded that He show up and explain himself to me.
Hahaha! You demanded that God show up and explain Himself?
Did He show up?
Eventually, but not the way I expected.
What do you mean?
I expected that doors would suddenly open and I would see the hand of God that way.
I take it that didn’t happen.
What happened instead?
One day you and I were chatting and you said it is important for each of us to be sure of who we are in God and His plan for us. You said that each of us has an assignment on this earth and that assignment comes with its provision so we need to find our place with God and he will do the rest.
Why was that important?
Well, I had been gauging my life based on the lives of others around me. I wanted to have as much money as so and so, be popular like so and so, be secure and confident like so and so….etc.
Is that a bad thing?
Well, in God’s scheme of things it is bad?
Well, it was as though I was saying that He didn’t know what He was doing when He created me. It struck me that wanting to be like someone else is a direct slap in God’s face.
Simply because He knew me before He knit me in my mother’s womb and so He knew I would be a great part of His plan and bring Him extreme glory. How then can I want to be like someone else?