For the past few weeks, hmm maybe months, I’ve been wrestling with something inside. My friends can attest to it, because just about once every week I’m venting to one of them about it. I even read some articles that communicated much of what I was dealing with (Anthony Bradley and Jasmine Baucham), but not exactly. I do feel like an emphasis on discipleship and exposing our comfortable Christianity were necessary books and speeches written and given by David Platt and others, but I don't think we've heard enough of the perhaps less radical messages to give us a healthy tension. So, I feel trapped in the thinking that I have to share Jesus everywhere in everything. I wanted to come to some amazing, John Piper-inspired conclusion about it, but I can’t. I didn’t want to keep questioning God or other people, but I know that God (at least) can handle my questions—even if it means He’ll just respond with even better ones like he did to Job (was that not the finest sarcasm ever?). So, please God, forgive me for asking… But can I just live a normal life?
I love you, I do, but that’s not enough it seems.
Do I have to tell everyone I meet about You, otherwise I’m failing at the mission?
I used to share the truth of Your word freely, but now it feels like a responsibility.
I used to spend time with other believers regularly, because I wanted to and knew I experienced You more fully around them than by myself. But now I feel like I have to.
I can't even genuinely talk and listen to an unbeliever without thinking that I've got to share my faith with them. Soon and very soon. But I can't even remember where they said they were from. Is that okay? Is that loving them?
If I don’t knock on my neighbors’ doors and tell them about Your love, do I not love them either?
If I don’t tell the girl I just met not too long ago that she’s not actually a Christian, am I avoiding conflict?
If I write a blog for a secular site and don’t find a way to mention You in it, am I selling out?
But then again, if nothing is more important than people having a relationship with You, should that be my focus all the time?
Or does that require a calling to ministry?
Is it possible that I could actually be doing what You want me to do despite hearing message after message and reading blog after blog about people not being missional enough?
Where is the encouragement?
But, hmm, is there a way to encourage the congregation and still prevent us from getting comfortable?
Can I read the book of Acts and applaud those brave men, but not think I have to go to Little Five Points and stage a Day of Pentecost?
Then again, why won’t I go? Why don’t we plan to do that one Sunday instead of gathering in a building? (Minus the flaming tongues part.)
Why don’t we just take a day to go evangelize?
Oh, yeah. That’s not discipleship. We have to build relationships first, right?
Have we dissected Your word too much?
What did the disciples daily lives, post-ascension, look like?
Were they always sharing with everybody?
Were you honored the same by the early Christians going to work and working hard?
They didn’t have tv, so did they have less distractions?
Do you give us grace for all the distractions around us?
Then again, where does eat, drink, and be merry fall into the call to make disciples?
Am I the only one that’s only been eating and drinking (peach tea), but not experiencing the merry in the mission?
Sometimes, I wish I could just do what I love and talk about who I love the most as I go and know that I’m on the right path without having to think about it so much. Is that possible?
I know that’s what some of my friends do, but why don’t I feel the freedom to do that?
Why do I even question whether they’re doing enough?
Am I trying to earn a few missionary patches on my heavenly robe that’s up there waiting on me?
Am I confusing Christianity with competition?
Do you actually want more from me, and I can't tell if it's conviction from the Spirit or from man?
Do I love you the way Scripture says I should?
Yes. Some days more than others.
Is Jesus my treasure?
Do I love people?
Yes, but sometimes I do love myself more.
Does your Spirit live in me?
Yes. Sorry for acting like it didn’t last week. (And a billion other times.)
Am I surrounded by other people who love Jesus and are wiser than me and can challenge me?
Do I talk about You and want to make disciples?
Is the spreading of the Gospel solely dependent on me?
Do You expect me to be Paul?
No. You expect me to be me and do what You want me to do. I think.
Does that mean that two believers’ missional lives can look different and one isn’t wrong or better?
Can I just rest in knowing that?
I think You’re screaming, “Yes!”
Will you finish the work you started in me regardless of my confusion?
If I'm supposed to go to Nineveh, will you make sure I end up there?
Ha. I bet.
Have I been trying to be the perfect Christian and earn your grace?
Does that sound noble but actually dumb since grace is something I don’t deserve?
I think you just laughed.
So, you’re telling me that I’ve been overthinking all of this?
Have I read too many books, articles, and sermon transcripts and not lived enough years to process them all?
Did you just smirk?
Ok, last question.
Did You see that Warriors’ game last night?
Woo! Wait- but you knew they would lose, so could you even enjoy it?
Oh snap! What’s it like to know…
“Love God. Love people. And do whatever else you want.”- Dhati Lewis
I’m going to try that approach...again.
So, help me God.