Long time, huh? I’d promise to be better at this, but I’m also a pastor, and in the process of dialoguing with a newspaper editor over certain moral issues of the day. It’s been fun, and I hope I’ve been able to reflect a more compassionate side, all the while creating an interest in the wisdom of God’s way of living. You can check out our dialogue on the Sun News blog page at MyrtleBeachOnline.com. I’ve only met Isaac, the writer for the paper once, but we’ve been talking for over a year. What a nice guy. We don’t agree on some things, but we listen to one another, and I’m appreciative for the new friendship that seems to be developing.
I’m reading another Dallas Willard book, “The Great Omission,” and it’s really doing something to me. I know churches are full of people who just don’t live any differently than everyone else. Heck, we can say the same for those of us who fill the pulpit (or music stand in my case) unfortunately. So, what’s up?
Dallas has a quote that just sums it up, “First, there is absolutely nothing in what Jesus himself or his early followers taught that suggests you can decide just to enjoy forgiveness at Jesus’ expense and have nothing more to do with him.”
But that’s what we do. We get our grace, our forgiveness, and we go back to life as usual but at least for awhile, with a cleaner conscience. That sounds dangerous. Dallas says we need grace to live the way Christ intends for us to live as much as we do for salvation. Why do we leave grace at the spot of our salvation but don’t depend on it for living differently? Of course he encourages us to develop our maturity in Christ through use of the spiritual disciplines. Otherwise, we’re left to the whims of life and we get blown about here and there and never mature past the point of our initial salvation.
There must be a way to become more than we have been; to start looking a little more like Christ in our behavior without becoming legalistic and full of ourselves.