Lies We Tell Ourselves

liar

Are there lies that we tell ourselves?  If we are truthful, we know we are very good at lying to ourselves (Jer 17:9). We have become so good at this skill, that we believe our lies make good enough excuses to fool other people. Ironically, once we have believed our contortions of reality, we view those who do not agree as foolish for not entering our pseudo-world. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves in this pseudo-world is that spiritual things have a class of their own.

Since reality has a way of uncovering falsehood.  Let’s take a look at some of the arguments often given for spiritual apathy and see how well the same arguments would line up in reality.

  1. “I am too tired to read the Bible.” “I am too tired to eat food.”gym 2
  1. “I don’t go to church because it is filled with hypocrites.” “I don’t go to the gym because I’ve seen fat people there.”
  1. “I don’t go to church because it is all about money.” “I don’t go to Wal-mart, Target, or any business, because they are about making money.”

 

  1. “I don’t read the Bible because I don’t understand it.” “I don’t use computers because I don’t know binary code.”

 

  1. “The preacher preached directly at me.” “The doctor prescribed medication to fit my situation.”

 

  1. “I am against organized religion.” “I am against certified mechanics, carpenters, or USDA approved food.”

 

  1. “I am waiting to fix a few things in my life before joining a church.” “I think I need to lose 20 pounds before I join the gym.” doctor-563428__180.jpg
  1. “I have too much baggage.” “I am too sick to go to the hospital.”
  1. “My parents used to make me go to church.” “I will recant from potty training, nap taking, and eating solid foods.”
  1. “I felt too convicted at church.” “I quit looking at the mirror.”
  1. “My pastor won’t understand my problems.” “What would a mechanic know about fixing a car?”
  1. “They tried to convince me to change.” “The traffic controller wouldn’t let me pass.”
  1. “I don’t go to church because people judge.” “I will not watch any movies or read books that have had reviews.”
  1. “I cannot go to a place with such high expectations.” “I think the military should lower its standards.”
  1. “The church wasn’t there for my physical needs.” “I called all the bars, and they wouldn’t give me any money.”
  1. “I can’t go to a church that doesn’t care about my feelings.” “Please don’t operate on me doctor, it hurts when you cut out cancer.”

God has made it perfectly clear that the very purpose of a church is to help us see past our own lies and excuses, that we me be perfected by His truth.  So next time you are confronted with reality, be thankful for a church body or friend who is willing to grow with you in Christ-likeness.

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

 

 

 

Super Hero Training Part 2

Last week we looked at some of the basic super powers God has given every believer. This is the default setting for all believers, yet to each church God gives special gifts to accomplish His Capttask and purpose (Eph 4:12). Sort of like the Avengers team, these gifts must all be used in the proper order. Hulk is good at smashing, Captain America is good at leading and to reverse these roles or trade gifts would be disastrous.

This team principle is exactly what happened in Acts 6:1-6. The Apostles were truly gifted at studying, preaching, and praying, but there were some serious physical needs in the church. So God brought up some men with “super powers” specific to the need of the church.

When our A-Team runs into problems is when we start working in areas that we have no super powers (Hulk starts thinking). We continually look at people through the lens of our own super power. “If they were spiritual they would teach a Sunday school class like me…. If they cared about church they would have people over more often….” And we forget that some have the gift of teaching while others the gift of hospitality.

That which upsets us most in our relationships is probably someone else’s gift shining through.

Another aspect that often happens in churches is the gift of God is never exercised (I Tim 1:6). If your gift is not used, it is impossible to stay attentive at church, and you will get restless and eventually frustrate others. Think about it, if God sent you to a church according to Ephesians 4:11-16 you are there to serve the A-Team. Anything else but service, is selfishness and the whole team suffers.

The team will suffer in many ways. First they will not have your specific talent, so either the important task will go undone or someone who is not qualified or gifted will have to fill your place, both are disastrous.

Secondly, you will start getting restless.  The Spirit that indwells you and gifts you will let you know that you are squandering His gifts.  There will be no peace for a believer that refuses to submit and serve (Eph 5:18, Phil 4:7).

As restlessness steps in, the very next step will be a spirit of criticism and disunity.  Instead of seeing the benefit of playing together, we will expect everyone to “pass us the ball.”  We become individuals instead of a team as we seek confirmation for our own abilities and perspective.

Finally, if the gift is not exercised, we will feel lost and out of place.  Instead of putting on our work boots and seeing the skills and talents we all posses, we will live in isolation.  Soon we will feel like nobody understands us, and find a need to justify our lack of service.

The worst side effect of isolation is that we cut ourselves off from the gifts of the body designed by God to help us grow, and doom ourselves to immaturity.

God has given us all gifts and talents and expects them to be used for Him and His glory.

So to make it personal, what tasks could you do at your specific local church?  What special talents do you have?  How could they meet the needs of your A-Team?