Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Said the Prayer – Now Make Me Happy

Why do so few Christians actually study the Bible diligently these days? Could it be because they are more interested in themselves than in truth and God himself?

It appears as though after Christians think that they have their ticket to paradise (heaven) they get interested in reading and learning. But it isn’t the Bible that most of them are driven to read, rather it is the plethora of books found on the shelves of “Christian” bookstores.

Unfortunately, it appears as though the following thought process is typical for many Christians in America and other prosperous, religiously free, nations. “OK, now that I am going to heaven, let’s get busy at making my life better. How can being a Christian make me happier, bring me more joy, make me more money, help my marriage, or make me a better parent.” Do you see the general theme? It is ME. Now that I said the prayer, tell me what God can do for me? This inward focus has been really good for “Christian” book sales, but that’s about it. God did not save us so we could focus on ourselves. He saved us so we could focus on loving him and others. Being a Christian is not about the pursuit of happiness. Rather, it is about the pursuit of holiness. It is about dying to self and living for God. It is about serving God and others. Just take the great commandment and the great commission as examples of where we should be focused.

Do either of these mention “ME”? Is it “love the Lord your God and love yourself”? Or how about “go into all the world pursuing happiness and prosperity”. No, it is all about God and others. I exhort all Christians to read the Bible, which is very clear about how to live out the Christian life. It does a rather good job at telling us how to love God and others. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not saying that all books are bad. However, I am saying that the Bible needs to be the place we go to encounter ultimate truth and the understanding on what it means to be a follower of Christ and how to live it out.

Here’s the interesting spin. When we read our Bibles, focus on God, and serve others, we will actually find that joy, peace and fulfillment that we were pursuing from the wisdom of man in all of those other books. Dying to self is a hard thing. But it is mandatory if we are to experience true freedom and victory in Christ.


Kievas said...

I'm often amazed at how many different books can say the same thing. Thanks for your post.

Heather said...

This is exactly, right on the dot, as to what I was looking for to open my eyes! Thanks so much because the harsh truth is what we all need to swallow :)