Why does it seem like spirituality and faith can be such a battle sometimes. Like the Apostle Paul, why do we seem to always be doing what we don’t want and struggle to do right? Why are Christians sometimes the most judgmental and can cause so much hurt?
I am always amazed by otherwise “good people”, becoming so angry or self righteous when it comes to people they don’t agree with or like. Whether it be “Those gays” or the President.
Now, there are “those” I have a hard time loving and being Christ to as well. So this post is not about blame or judgement, but why we as Christians so often fall short of demonstrating Christ in a dark world.
Jesus said we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross. Paul spoke of a thorn in the flesh, that made life difficult. Scripture also speaks of our carnal nature that always leads us to sin. This “self”, “Thorn” and “Carnal Nature” is our false self also known as our ego. This is the part of ourselves that we created. We created this “self” or identity in response to life. It is the wounded part of ourselves. It becomes our perspective on life or our identity we accept about life. This is what we sometimes refer to our “baggage”, or “issues”. These are the ways we have learned to cope or defend ourselves. This is the false self because it is not who we really are or the way we were created to live. Scripture also calls this “ego” our lower self. Jesus came to lift us out of this lower way of living to a higher way of living, a more abundant life filled with Joy and Peace through His Grace and strength.
Now we are never rid of this old self or ego, we deal with it daily, but if we deny it, take up our cross (purposely choose and live dependent on God’s Grace, wisdom and Spirit) we will be lifted up and find a strength and joy that comes from a place that is not ourselves.
We may find ourselves, thinking thoughts contrary to Christ, saying words that He would never say, holding judgements or mindsets that are not Christlike. This is proof we are living out of this false self. If we would simply ask the Holy Spirit to help us see and live the way Christ would, we will find a strength and wisdom that will empower us to rise above the old way and we will find ourselves with Love for the unlovely, with Grace for the ungraceful, forgiveness for the unforgiving.
Living this life is not about living perfect. We will never reach that in this life. But if we daily surrender and choose the higher way of living we will find our life transformed and we will make a difference in the lives we touch. If we hate or judge the “others” (gays, the President, Muslims, or any others) we are living a false and lower life than Christ came that we may have. We are creating for yourself a life that more resembles Hell than, Heaven. May we demonstrate and manifest the Spirit of Christ in a dark world. May we deny the false life and choose the True Life of Christ daily! This is the daily work we must do, this is our spiritual practice!