Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The thin line between everything and nothing

So this month I read North and South again. It is a good read although I need to be careful how gushing I am as it is in essence a period romance story. One of the characters in it is a miner who doesn't seem to believe in heaven or God or any of that. He says his concern is this world not anything else. At one point when questioned on this he says that no-one really believes it. People may say they do, people may even convince themselves that they do but throughout a week they don't seem any different. They don't really believe it any more than him. He articulates what I've heard so many people say before. If Christianity is true how coming it seems to make no difference (or very little difference) in people's lives? It's a good question and one of the answers is that churches are full of hypocrites who say one thing but don't live it. Another is that all Christians fail to live consistently with what they believe the same as everyone else in the planet. However, I think the chief reason is something different. I think the reason people think this is because there is a very thin line between everything and nothing. Let me explain.

People want to see life changing but what they imagine is that a life changed would involve obvious things. So if every Christian gave up work and instead just volunteered for a charity that would then look obviously different. But of course the danger is that life outside of this still looks the same. You see Christianity doesn't call for Christians to adopt obvious isolated changes. Christianity doesn't call on you to stop eating meat, or only wear brown or give all your money away or anything that small. Christianity asks you to live for a different purpose. Christianity asks you to worship something different. Now these changes are more fundamental but less obvious.

Christianity doesn't ask you to stop working but it does require you to approach work in a dramatically different way. Work is no longer about simply earning money, status and respect but is instead to be about loving people wall, loving creation well, working hard with the gifts God's given you. I still go to the same job as before but my entire outlook is different. This might look like nothing but it should be everything.

Christianity doesn't require you to get married but it requires you to view the whole situation in a different way. If single I view this not as an excuse for selfishness but as a gift from God freeing me up to love and serve him and other people in unique ways. If married I view it as a chance to reflect something of God's love in the way that I love and sacrificially give myself for my spouse. When married I am able to love and serve God and others in a different way. This might look like nothing but it is in fact everything.

Now Christians sometimes use the lack of laws as an excuse to do nothing but in reality when the Spirit lives inside of you everything may look the same on first glance but actually on closer inspection of motives and passions you will see that nothing is actually the same as it was. Maybe before you say why doesn';t more change you should just take the time and look a little closer and see if actually although they do the same stuff their outlook, passions and therefore fruits are changed dramatically.

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