It’s an easier job to take a pen and paper and preach when compared to how humungous a task it is to be consistent and striving in practicing what you preach. It gets more complex for you as a writer when you are being observed by many people beginning with your family as to whether you are living up to the talks that you preached. Further, when people look up to you, or people are encouraged by you, or even when they pray for you, the complexity involved in living up to those standards increases.
Let people have their say of opinions; but at the end of the day, it boils down to whether you can look back at the day gone by and find yourself having lived a life acceptable to God or not. It’s then when some things seem to just not be happening the way it should be. A vibrant and growing Christian life gets so easily sidetracked and forgotten through our everyday routine that we start getting comfortable living a bland and passive Christian life. Doing spiritual things become so much a routine that things such as quiet time, evangelical ministries or church ministries just become mere activities and dead routines which leaves us with a feel-good feeling. It’s important to say that we just satisfy our flesh by doing all these kind of spiritual activities. It’s easy to organize activities, volunteer, co-ordinate things, sit hours and hours together involved in a certain work, all with a Christian tagline attached to it, and yet at the end of it leave aside the important things of making sense of the Word of God in our lives. So often, we, like Martha, are found elsewhere but at the feet of the Lord.
It’s important to emphasize again that these just fulfil the lust of the flesh, if you skipped reading that before. Because it’s something very hard to digest that everything that we profess to do for God can be counted of no value in the sight of God. If you really can put yourself in my shoes and try understanding what it means to be in such a situation, you would only dread being a victim of such a sin.
In our other life unseen to others, we tend to play around with the pleasures of this world and at the same time with the things of God, as if it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes I wonder as to what exactly should one label a Christian such as I who professes a certain lifestyle and practices another. Pathetic? Maybe. It’s easy to put on a show to others. But the real me finds himself doing a little for God, doing a little for Satan; giving some time for God, giving some time for Satan; talking a little good, talking a little sin. It’s such an irony to be a Peter and at the same time yet another Pharisee. How often do we find ourselves stuck in this bland, lukewarm and passive Christian life! On the flipside, we realize all of this and yet, still find ourselves doing those same things over and over again. It sometimes just leaves you thinking about how worthless a Christian you are. At such
junctures, so often, we second with Paul on his strong words, “I am the chief of all sinners.” Sometimes we stare at those verses stuck around on the walls of our room engraved with God’s commandments and wonder how we could so easily break that same commandment over and over again. And sometimes as we glance through those beautifully coloured picture hangings of God’s
promises, all we do is just sigh because we don’t even find ourselves worthy of those promises. At such junctures, it then just feels a little too shameful to ask God again for forgiveness.
I thank God that he has given us his Holy Spirit that pricks us and convicts us through his Word about the mistakes in our lives and presses on that we change our lives. And I’m happy that God doesn’t spare us nor does he flatter us with soothing words when we come to his presence. His Word is as a two-edged sword that pierces our soul deep within and admonishes us in the areas we are wrong.
It’s never too late to give up living this sin. It’s a challenge for each one of us to give up this double life. In chapter 4:8-10 of his epistle, James exhorts and encourages us with a simple message. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” It’s amazing to see how God still loves us in spite of how pathetic we are. In spite of how unworthy a people we are, he is still seeking out for us like the prodigal son’s father who searched day in and out hoping and praying to see any signs of his son. It’s for us to return to him. We can’t be neutral or self-sufficient. We have to serve God or Satan. It’s for us to discard these two faces.