Category Archives: Tongue in Cheek

What’s In It For Me?

The following is a fictional memoir and does not reflect the attitudes of anyone I know personally, though it may reveal the inner struggles we are all trying to overcome as we become the church He died for us to be.

Worship to day didn’t do much for me. I wasn’t inspired. Worship is there to inspire me and motivate me and I just didn’t feel it. People around me were raising and clapping their hands. A couple in front of me stood up and I couldn’t see. I mean, the worship leader did’t  even ask us to stand up. I was doing it right and they were doing it wrong, yet they seemed inspired and I went away feeling worse than before.

The scripture must have been a good one, because I heard a lot of “Amen” and “That’s Right” from folks around me but I guess I just didn’t get it. It was from 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us.”

To me church should be about helping me be successful as a person. I mean, God wants me to be successful right? That way I can show him how good I am.  Being more successful means I can upgrade my wardrobe.  As I dress nicer for church, people will know that I really love God.  When we dress nice for church, it’s like we’re telling God “thank you for the blessings,” right?  I want Him to be proud of me and pleased with me. If I’m successful, then I’ll give credit to God. Wouldn’t he want that?

The pastor kept saying that as “jars of clay” in the hands of God there will be no doubt that the power comes from him. Then he read from Luke 9:24-25 “For whoever would save his life would lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” I couldn’t make sense of this, because God gave me this life, why would he want me to give it up? That doesn’t seem like good stewardship to me.  And I KNOW for a fact that God want’s us to be good stewards. He said so.  I think it’s in Genesis or Deuteronomy.

Lose my life for God’s? On purpose? That’s just not the kind of message I’m looking for. What’s in that for me? I’m looking for a church where I can feel good about myself and my ambitions. I think God wants me to feel good and be successful for Him. This “jars of clay” idea just doesn’t fit my idea of God.

I think I’ll have to look elsewhere for the kind of inspiration I need. I don’t mean leave the church! Good heavens, no. I have some really good friends there. They’re humble, simple people, never who complain about what they don’t have, but give thanks for what God has given them. They are true servants. If I had a nickel for every time they brought me a meal when I was sick or when our baby was born or my mother passed away, well then I’d have a lot of nickels. I’d probably be able to start tithing! Ha-Ha- I’m just kidding. Anyway, I wonder why worship can’t get me inspired enough to be more like those people.  I guess God just hasn’t opened the right door yet.
For now, I’ll just have to rely on myself for my own inspiration and work my hardest to get ahead in this world to make God proud of me.
Do you find anything here that resembles your own struggle to understand who you are to be “In Christ?” Do you value your own success. Do you devalue the “jars of clay” in which God has chosen to store His richest treasure – (you)?

I Think My Eyes Are In Backward

A SHORT STORY – FROM A MADE UP DIARY
I think my eyes are in backwards and all I can see right now is myself. I’m blind to the needs of others around me. To me, they don’t even exist. All I can see are my needs. It doesn’t seem to be hurting me, but if it does, I think I’ll have to do something about it.
I was talking with a friend the other day who was asking for prayer and advice regarding some tribulation that had come his way. I thought about his story and it reminded me of something similar that had happened to me. Well, maybe it wasn’t exactly the same as what happened to me… come to think of it what happened to me had nothing at all to do with my friend’s situation, but I told it to him anyway. We both had a good laugh, but he seemed to go away sad. It was hard to tell, because all I could see was me. I think my eyes were put in backward.
This morning at my accountability group prayer time we each asked for prayer, but when we prayed I noticed no one was praying for the requests I had made. Maybe they just didn’t think they were that important. I know, I’ll bet they just didn’t know what I meant when I said “unspoken.” On my turn I was very careful to name the person Luke had asked for. You know, his friend who had cancer… or was it kidney disease? No, I remember, it was a hemorrhoid… no, no that’s not it either. But I prayed for him by name, or was it her? Come to think of it, it wasn’t his friend, it was his sister, Jill, I mean, Joanne… I can’t remember. I’ll have to ask him later. I think I just prayed for “Luke’s request”. God knew what I meant. I’ve gotta get my eyes fixed!
My ministry team meets tomorrow. I can’t wait to share all my ideas. They are going to love them, and if they don’t I’ll just join another team. I mean, if they didn’t want to do it my way, then why did they ask me to be on the team? They better not “tweak” my ideas either. I know God gave these ideas to ME, and it must be because He wants them done the way I would do them. Why else would He give me the idea in the first place?
My favorite radio station wasn’t coming through very well today so I tried out a couple other so called “Christian” stations. I couldn’t stand this one station. No matter how low I turned my volume down in the car, the music still sounded too loud. I didn’t like it. This music can’t be honoring to God, can it? I’m just sure that God doesn’t like that kind of music. It’s too grindy. God doesn’t like grindy music. At least not my god!
My eyes are still in backwards. I’m going to have to get that checked out. It doesn’t seem to be affecting my daily life, however, so perhaps I’ll put it off. Like I always say- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Day I Didn’t Feel Your Prayers

A SHORT STORY – FROM A MADE UP DIARY

No one prayed for me today.I’ve heard it said and said it myself – “I could feel your prayers.” But I didn’t feel anyone pray for me today.I walked through my day and so many things went wrong.I lost my keys in the morning and was late for work.Was anyone praying for me?I spilled my coffee in my car and ran out of napkins before I could clean it up.Someone please pray for me!Upon entering my office I was bombarded by messages and problems that I had to fix.Why won’t someone pray for me?Rushing back after lunch I slammed my breaks on but still rear-ended the car in front of me.I could really use some prayer!

Why won’t anybody pray for me?I’m a member of my church and they know me.Are they praying for me?My family raised me to follow Christ.Are they praying for me?

I ended my day on my knees and realized it was the first time today I had taken that position.Holy Spirit began to convict me that I had not prayed for anyone today.I had only been thinking of myself.Had I started the day in prayer and continued in a spirit of prayer throughout the day, perhaps I would have been less self absorbed. If I had been a person humbled to pray, Christ would have been my focus and not me.I realized then that the Bible says that Christ is interceding for each of us.That means, in a sense that He is praying for us.He had been praying for me throughout my troubled day.

From now on when I don’t “feel” the prayers of others on my behalf, I will stop and pray for others.I will remember that Jesus is interceding for me and he is watching me.