I guess one of the biggest reasons I didn’t pursue Christianity more passionately when I was younger – other than the classic misunderstanding of who God really is – is that it all looked really boring. Being a Christian seriously looked like a total drag. It seemed like a bunch of people who had decided to say “no” to all the fun parts of life – and wanted to shove that same “no” down everyone else’s throat.
I saw families who kept to themselves, who didn’t really mingle with people that weren’t Christian, and made me feel bad for being the total goof ball that I am. Not to mention -their house usually smelled like soup and brussels sprouts…and they usually wore tan colored turtlenecks…with seasonally appropriate vests. I don’t care how “in” vests become – I don’t need a 4th of July sweater vest SUSAN. Btw…who is Susan?
Idk, all the Christians I saw were working 9-5 jobs, and seemed just as unhappy about that as anyone else…and the minivans, so many minivans in the church parking lot. I’m not knocking the 9-5 or the minivan (actually yes – I’m knocking the minivan), but it didn’t seem like the Christians I knew were living any differently than everyone else. I guess I would’ve expected happier 9-5ers, ya know? I mean – they claimed to have something more special than what everyone else had…but it didn’t seem like they did.
To me – signing up to be devoted to Christ kind of looked like a death sentence. There didn’t seem to be much life there. It was a lot of passive behaviors and not a lot of color. I met very few Christians that burned with passion and life. I met very few people where light was pouring out of them – like the Bible said it would. I was pretty familiar with the Bible – and what I read, compared to what I saw in these people around me just never added up. I couldn’t figure it out.
Maybe you’ve had a similar view of Christians? A bunch of people who seemed just as lost as the next. A group of people who had said one yes, followed up by a bunch of “no’s”, but looked just as unhappy as everyone else. It all just seemed really comfortable and boring. Didn’t seem any different than any other way of living – so I didn’t feel the need to devote myself to it.
And lets be honest – for some people comfortability and security is exactly the thing that either attracts them to this misguided perception of Christianity – OR it keeps them from it entirely. Life is comfortable, things are secure, why change anything up when you’ve got it all covered? I think this is one of the biggest lies the devil tells people – that what they’ve got going without God is good enough. Life is going well – there seems to be no immediate need for God’s assistance. And just like that – you’ve marginalized God to a personal assistant position – rather than the CEO.
But, our hearts are actually searching for something greater than ourselves, and when I hadn’t found that something greater through any of the other paths I had explored – I started diving into the Bible and my relationship with God. Rather than dictating my view of God on my analysis of other people claiming Christianity, I had to figure it out for myself.
Honestly – I equate this to my Rodan + Fields business a little bit. Please don’t come at me with theology of why I shouldn’t – it’s just a metaphor that my brain seems to grasp. So, chill.
A lot of people don’t think very highly of direct sales, a lot of people get into direct sales and quit because it “doesn’t work for them”, and then a few crappy direct sellers make a bad name for the rest of us who are working it. But yeah – you will have a skewed sense of the business if you just listen to rumors about it, you will pass it up if you don’t actually take the time to figure it out for yourself.
Just like Christianity – there are a lot of people who don’t think very highly of Christians, and a lot of people get into the faith, but end up rejecting it because it didn’t work for them. You know what it means in Rodan + Fields when someone says it didn’t work for them? It means they didn’t really try. I’ve trained over 30 people – and the people that quit, quit before they even have a chance to get started. Or they focus on all the wrong things, and refuse to shift that focus. That’s how I view people who walk away from Christ. Not that you have to “try” to obtain God’s love, but putting God first and making Him a priority has to be consistent. And I think that until Christ is a constant in your life – you’ll miss the beauty of it all.
It’s also similar in the fact that people join Rodan + Fields and sort of expect it to be a lottery ticket. Like – I signed up, now where’s my money. This always makes me laugh.But it’s kind of the way people view God. Well God, I signed up – fix my life, give me clear skin, and make my hair longer. AMEN. We say at the very beginning of training for RF – this will take 20-30 minutes a day. It’s not hard work, but it’s consistent work. The same is true with developing an intimate relationship with God. Although, we are already enough for God – it is a relationship – meaning…you have to put time into it. Believe me – He’ll meet you right where you’re at, but He wants you to at least pick up the phone. You can’t just claim Christ, and then never make time for Him during your day. I would get sucked into this trap all the time – I’d go away for a youth group weekend, come back on fire, and then within three days that fire would dwindle – ya know why? I wasn’t consistent, I wasn’t making Him a priority, I wasn’t talking to Him daily – learning about Him daily.
So – I started treating my faith like my business a little bit. I kind of cringe saying that, but it’s true. I was irritated that I was willing to pour myself into a business, but not my faith. I was carving out time for my business regardless of how I felt about it, because let’s be honest – no one wants to go into work every single day (I don’t care how much you love your job), sometimes it has to be a choice – so I started doing the same with God.
I read the Bible and spent time with Him regardless of how I was feeling about it that day. Regardless of how busy or tired I was. I sought out truth regardless of what others said about it. I started following the “manual” regardless of personal opinion…then I started to build up momentum. I tithed regardless of if I really understood why – I got clarity on that one real quick. Things that I could never wrap my mind around about Christianity were actually making sense. And then I actually started enjoying my time with Him. He was revealing serious truths to me – about Himself, about myself, about others, about life. It became the most exciting journey I’ve ever been on. I started feeling an intimate connection with Him. The Bible started to become alive, His design started to matter to me, my heart changed forever. Who I am is forever altered.
It stopped becoming about doing the right things to get closer to God – and it started becoming an organic relationship that I desperately wanted to foster and grow. Because as you know – God isn’t calling us to a life of mundane, mindless following. He isn’t calling us to a list of to-do’s. He isn’t calling us to a life where we do the right things to secure a place in Heaven…He’s calling us to something much more than that.
So, this is what I know now…
So, I’ve learned a lot in that time. One of my main take aways – being a Christian actually requires living a totally radical, risky, and exciting life. For me, and who I am – that’s seriously appealing. For others – they would prefer security and comfort – and that’s what’s cool about Christ…with Him you get it all. You get to live radically while resting in the knowledge that you will always be provided for.
Comfort? Well – I’m sorry – but Christ doesn’t promise that. Not in the way we search for it, but in the way only He can provide it. I rest comfortably under any circumstance – knowing God is for me. I am comfortable in my identity, because I know whose I am. I am comfortable knowing that I don’t have to have my own back any more. But no – He doesn’t promise us California King size beds and luxury vehicles, although I doubt He’s against them.
But if you look at the life of Jesus – you will be blown away by how incredibly radical He was. He was crushing the theology and traditions of the church leaders of the time. He was like the Heavenly Bernie Sanders of His time (except He was fully God and human – sooo like way cooler than the Bern). But still – it’s so crazy that one of the most progressive ways of life and ideology has been so watered down – has been turned into a cookie cutter way of life.
Being a Christian actually means saying “yes” to things that would normally be a “no” – and when you say “yes” – you get wrapped in the confidence of Christ. You’re no longer relying on yourself, so risks don’t seem as scary – and with Christ, you’ll start taking more of them. Your confidence shifts from self to Christ – and it makes you do some things you would’ve otherwise never done, because everyone knows there’s a part of themselves that can’t be trusted, but with God – you can fully surrender and trust.
Finances, experiences, relationships – they all get to be used radically. Life stops being about security and comfort, and there literally could not be anything less boring than that. Now, I’m not saying that Christ uses everyone in the same way. Not everyone who follows God will be called to the same mission, but it gives the stay-at-home mom access to a radical life in the same way it gives missionaries access to a radical life. Everyone has a place, and everyone has a radical mission. You get access to the Holy Spirit – and when you start diving into that – there is no debating that there is nothing boring about God.
I literally always thought a lot of Christians chose not to drink because they were boring and lame and thought it was the right thing to do…so they did it, and honestly – that could be true for some. But now, after giving up drinking myself I realize it’s because I don’t want to miss a minute. I don’t want to alter anything about my reality – and somehow miss something God is trying to show me. I’m so content with my reality – that dulling it seems like a waste. This has been an incredible gift. Now, don’t get it twisted – I’m not saying a Christian that drinks is less of a Christian – not at all – jeeze – please don’t walk away with that message. I’m just saying for me personally – this is where the sweet spot is…and it doesn’t involve mood or mind altering substances. But, I’m finally understanding what some of these “boring” Christians were all about…and it’s not really boring at all.
God calls Christians to action and radical living, He begs us to NOT conform – to live differently. There is nothing more progressive than this – reject all the ways of the world. I just don’t know how this message missed me when I was younger.
I believe this message has missed many Christians, but I wish it wouldn’t. Because there is incredible freedom on the other side of it. The rat race, the ladder climbing, the worry, the anxiety, the need to be your own provider, the search for something more – it all stops, and you realize that you were meant for so much more.
Luke warm Christianity is giving Christians a bad rep, and it’d be cool if ya’ll would turn up the heat a little bit. Ya know?