What's Love Got to do with it?

What if we've missed the point? What if Love Wins is enough? And why Rob Bell may just be right.

Right On our doorstep

Think that slavery is a thing of the past? Think that the UK is too civilised to be part of trafficking? Think again

5 reasons why being married to Brit is great (or 5 reasons to marry an American)

5 things you will never know until you marry an American

Masturbation Month

Giving up masturbation for a month. Why we need to save the kittens.

XXXchurch! Whaaa?

Why I love porn (ministries).

22 Mar 2009

Aren't we all the same?!

For pretty much my whole life I have been learning from Sunday School and in Church and any where else where there are Christians that I am in need of being saved from my sins. Verses are quoted at me about how none of us are Ok and all of us need salvation.

So far so good.

The problem is that somewhere along the line I started to believe that some sins are worse than others. Where did I get this from? I know that we all need saved but somehow this has turned into "we all need saved (but really some of us need saved more)" And I think this is damgaing.

I have been pretty open on here about struggles I have with porn and with temptation but other than 3 or 4 people who I have been close to, I haven't really been open to many people about it.

Why is that?

Surely if we all need saved then that means no sin is worse than another. If some sins are worse then there would need to be different levels of salvation. But thank God we don't. And thank God there aren't.

But still some sins are seen as disgusting and dark and murky and should never be talked about. We think that our junk is bigger and smellier than the person sat next to us on Sunday morning. Or we think that if people really knew what we were like or what we got up to in out room last night, then they wouldn't be able to look us in the eye. But this is crap. Because like I have said we all need saved.

If only we really believed this. Sure, ask any Christian and they will agree with this statement. But do they really? Do I really? Because of this strange complex we have about not looking bad to others we don't mention our sins. And if we do, then it is that we aren't praying enough or we were kind of rude to someone or if you are a really hardcore sinner you dropped the 'f' bomb.

We are so taken in by the lie that now we are saved we need people to see us as perfect. Yeah we all need saved but where does it say anywhere that we need to have everything completely sorted. The Bible does say that we should be accountable to each other and pray for each other but how can we do that if we aren't completely honest.

Because people find it hard enough to admit small things to others, it leaves the bigger things (or should I say 'bigger' as how other people see them, but remember not 'bigger' as God sees them) then we don't mention the tough things we go through, or the struggles that are really grinding us down every day. Instead we keep them to ourselves and pretend that we are doing OK.

The point of this post is really that you and I will stop acting like your sin is bigger. If you are struggling with being nice to someone who you find annoying then this is just as big a sin as looking at naked women. If you are jealous of someone who is getting something you have always wanted yourself, this is just as big a sin as lusting after a girl/boy.

Jesus said that if we even imagine sleeping with someone elses wife this is just like actually doing it. There is no difference whatsoever. Thinking is as bad as doing? How does that work?
Because sin is sin. It's all the same.

So my challenge to myself is to stop stressing over looking good to others and be real and to be courageous and step up and not be afraid to talk about the darkest stuff. Because this will allow someone else to step up too, who has also been afraid.

If you are struggling with something that you have built up in your head as being this 'unforgivable sin' then please stop because it isn't.

I remember hearing or reading somewhere that we look at sin like we are at the base of some mountains. Some of them look bigger to us than others. We differentiate between them. But God looks at them from above, from far away. He can't tell what is big and what is small. He has a different view of them than us. To him they look all the same.

Let's start looking at sin like God does.

18 Mar 2009

Falling On Deaf Ears

So yesterday morning I woke to the joyful sound of ringing. Not a nice ringing. Not even a phone ringing (which would be awesome as I have Jamie Lidell as my ringtone) but the annoying ringing you get after a concert. Its called Titanus apparantely. I don't really care what its called, its annoying. But unfortunately I can't even look at it with fondness like I would if it was caused my an amazing concert. That was last week.

No this was caused simply by a blocked ear. Now I don't know about you but when I get this it changes the person I am. I am easily irritated and I am probably a bit more prone to losing my temper. I'm not really like that but when something like this happens to me I act like a spoiled kid.

And this got me thinking.
I can look at this as being the worst thing to ever happen to me like I did.

It wasn't.

Or I can look at it as something that is mildy inconvienient and that can be easily treated.

It is.

When I look at it like that then it changes my outlook. In fact after 24 hours of not being able to hear out of my left ear I am actually pretty used to it now.

And it may be a bit of a cliche but I am starting to appreciate my hearing. On my way home from Belfast yesterday I listened to music and for a brief few seconds my ear completely cleared up. Can I tell you that the music has never sounded so good. I have been listening to Sleeping at Last pretty much non stop the past week but it sounded so so better for a few short seconds.

I was reading a blog post on Shellie R Warrens facebook blog in which she was taken ill with the flu last week and how this as she saw it was God's way of "making her lay down." Psalm 23v2 ESV. God started to heal her about something specific going one in her life at that time. God had something to do with her illness. Reading about how she saw this period and how it was one way that God gets our attention by knocking us for six inspired me.

Sometimes we go through things that don't just cause us to stop and take stock but 'make us lie down'. So I started seeing my ear problem like this. I started to wonder what was the purpose of this and I believe it was to talk to me about sin. To see what is necessary and what is not. To see my sin and to see what I need to cut out. I like this. I am enjoying this. I think I am becoming more patient. I feel I'm thinking clearer about a certain issue in my life right now. My ear is blocked and even though I can do something about it, it won't heal straight away. I have no other choice but to wait and grin and bear it.

Maybe when we are sick or disappointed we should use it as a time to force us to stop and take time to hear (easier for some than others). There is nothing to do but be helpless and look to God and that is something I don't do nearly as much as I should. And remember that after God imposes on us something that stops us in our tracks to remember that there are good things about that time.

"He leads me beside still waters" -He gives us time to take stock and be peaceful. To stop thinking about the next project, the next meeting, the next problem. He gives us perspective.

"He restores my soul"- He take something that has been bothering you, something that has been tempting you or eating at you some disappointment and says it's OK. It's not who you are. It doesn't have to ruin or define you. It just gives you a new way of looking.

"You anoint my head with oil" - He gives you drops to put in your head to heal you, he brings you back to health after making you look to him with a new outlook.

The hard stuff is a "path to righteousness" that brings us to a new place. A better place where we are different people, more a real person than we were before. So if you are suffering right now remember there is a reason. There is a purpose. It's not needless. It's crucial. And with God we can be sure it will be good

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD


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