SOME PEOPLE SHOULD JUST MAKE UP THEIR MINDS. How is it possible that a Christian person could be regularly grumpy, suspicious or ungraceful—or even aggressive? Yet, we find this routinely. They might know their Bibles back-to-front, but they do God no glory. I find it a touch exasperating to see such vagrant belief in so-called believers.
I know of some believers who think it such an awkward compartmentalisation that I should write so much about character development, thinking for instance, theological arguments ad nauseam are otherwise so endearing.
For me, the subject of becoming more Christ-like and the process of achieving same—loving all our contemporaries—comprise the actual nuts and bolts of what Jesus and Paul were mainly about. Yet, people will still haggle and wrangle over any little theological difference and interpretation—as if the head were more important than the heart, and opinion more worth than simply ‘being Christian.’
It is pretty clear in Scripture that the heart is where death ends and life begins—so far as faith is concerned.
The whole idea of trust and obedience, the golden tenets of faith, is about surrendering our wills to God. So why then do people insist on their arguments and on being right so much?
Anyone can find a basis that supports their argument, but if they don’t argue in love and respect, what’s the point?
Surely the real Christian wants to love beyond the argument. They live and let live; and where they can’t they leave the problem to God. Vengeance, after all, is God’s (Romans 12:19, cf. Deuteronomy 32:35).
The people mentioned above who can’t seem to make up their minds appear to take great passionate delight in grabbing hold of one part—or even several parts—of God’s dominion and exploiting that or those to the detriment of equally important things.
For instance, is it God’s Word, the tradition of the Church or the experience of God’s Spiritual Presence that’s the most important? There are after all, denominations of church life expanding and specialising on each to the detriment of the others.
The answer can only be we need all of it. Why do we impose conditions on the piety of our religious activity? Why do we hem God in and say, ‘This way, Lord, or the highway!’
It is unconscionable that we mere mortals would do this; that we’d stamp our particular “special” mark and brand on our spiritual action. If we believe, we do so humbly and without demand for anything. We surrender to his will, Presence and Word.
And most of all we humbly relate with each other. Love, the higher law!
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.