Pontifications

Regrets

It’s that time of year again.  The time of year when we all gather together, to eat good food, spend time with family, and think about all the things we regret about our lives.  What?  That’s not Christmasy?  Well screw you, this is my blog.

I always chuckle to myself (not the amused chuckle, the “This person is stupider than me chuckle, and although I’m angry, I can revel in my intellectual superiority” chuckle – my wife says I’m arrogant) whenever I see some schmuck on MySpace send around some ridiculous questionnaire bulletin (these are why I use Facebook now) and among the hodge-podge of brain-hemhorraging questions is this one: “What do you regret most?”  To which some little twit is always apt to respond: “I DON’T REGRET ANYTHING I’VE EVER DONE!”  You little sociopathic punk . . . of course you do.  You’ve just mistaken the deep hatred you feel for yourself as apathy for what others think.  Or perhaps you live in a drunken stupor and believe all the things you’ve done in life “Totally ROCKED!!! YEAEAAAEAAAHHH!”

There are tons of things I regret.  I regret getting into debt just about as soon as I graduated High School.  I regret going to Bible College and then transferring to a regular one after dropping out complete for a year, and incurring even more debt that way.  I regret that I didn’t go to one of the several schools offering me a full-paid scholarship, and majoring in something I would’ve actually enjoyed doing.  I regret that I didn’t switch my major to Pre-Med, and become a Doctor.  I regret not making more friends in school.  I regret making fun of fat people in the mall, even though they couldn’t hear me.  I regret quitting a good job for one that only looked better, and ending up poor, and taking my family with me.  I regret not taking all those major decisions before God in prayer, to know His will about things, so that I wouldn’t end up regretting them later.

People who purport to have no regrets often use the excuse that even the bad things they’ve done have made them into the person they are today.  Seriously?  The person you are today is that great?  Sure, some good has come out of many of those things.  And learning from those bad decisions, and their repurcussions, has made me into the person I am today, which is not all that bad.  I’ve learned to take my decisions to God, and seek His will.  I’ve learned that debt is really bad.  I’ve made some good friends in places I wouldn’t have been, had I chosen some other path.  But none of that lessens the fact that I truly do regret those things.

I suppose it’s human nature to look at your circumstances and consider where you could be today, had you done things differently.  Combine this with the desire to be better, have a better job, make more money . . . all that, and it makes sense to feel that way.  The difficulty is in seeing success, and failure, how God sees them in me, and not how I see it myself.  I’ve never been too concerned with how the world / people view me.  However, there are things in my life that I consider to be success and failure, and mostly my regrets center around missed opportunities to have an easier, more comfortable life now, and a more enjoyable job.  But the things I enjoy most:  my wife, and children, are always there.  And I have the feeling that even my own conceptions of success are so far from God’s, that it’s scary.  Especially since I think I’m probably far away from anything resembling “success” in God’s book.

christianity, Church, witnessing

Unprofitable Blogging

Last week I posed the challenge to witness to one person for every blog post.  I happen to know that at least 10 Christian bloggers visited my site, and chose not to respond to that challenge, choosing instead to mindlessly prattle on with their unprofitable theologies and divisive doctrinal debates.

Perhaps some non-evangelicals would dismiss it as the church leader told William Carey: “Young man, when God wants to save the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine.”

Listen… you may not like that Jesus commissioned us to go out and preach to all the world, God knows there are lots of things in the Bible I wish I could just rip right off the page and pretend like it didn’t exist (love your enemies?!), but you can’t ignore it.  Sitting at home, feeling so spiritual because the other unprofitable “servants” of God think you’re very intelligent is self-delusional.   I present you with a video, and a testimony.  God help me be as profitable in life as this man:

Uncategorized

Is Sickness the Result of Sin?

We’ve all run into our fair share of loony-tune type wackos out there, when it comes to the prosperity / health / happy-go-lucky doctrines. One thing I’ve been working through here is finding the truth in their teachings, without the obvious erroneous extremes to which they’ve flown. I met a man one time who told me that if Christians were sick, it was because of 2 reasons: 1. They were in sin, and therefore out of God’s protection; or 2. They didn’t have enough faith to be well.
This sent my head reeling, as I’m sure yours is after having read that. (Coincidentally, if your head is not reeling, you may, in fact, be a loony-tune wacko) My retort was instant, “What about Paul? He suffered from a physical problem throughout his ministry, despite praying God take it away, and even had to travel with a physician to care for him.”
“Paul obviously didn’t have enough faith to be well.” (He also informed me that Peter, and others who were martyred didn’t have enough faith to live)
I watched his face silently to see if he was having a laugh at my expense, but I saw no such indication. I excused myself shortly thereafter, and saw this same man walking home the next day because he had run out of gas, while driving to town on an empty tank, believing that God would keep it full, like the widow’s jar of oil. It was difficult not to mock him, but instead I just pretended like I didn’t see him and kept driving
Obviously we bring sickness on ourselves many, if not most, of the time. Our lifestyles, even years earlier in life, lead to health problems. Lack of exercise, junk food, etc wreak havoc on our bodies, and this doesn’t even take into account worse things. So…does sin cause sickness? Of course it does, many times. Who can look at an alcoholic and not realize that his sin caused his liver disease? We reap what we sow…even after being saved, however I believe God often alleviates much of this burden for his children. If you lead a wild and promiscuous life as a young person, it’s not unthinkable to believe that you may have physical problems as a result of that later on in life. We also live in a world under the curse of sin, and that is why we have sickness to begin with. So, in some way, we can say all sickness did originate because of sin.
This is, however, a far cry from saying that personal sin makes people sick, as a rule. We are a part of this world, and subject to its curse. I believe in healing, I’ve seen many people healed of all manner of diseases. But why isn’t everyone healed? I don’t know. God has a plan in all things. Perhaps it is because of lack of faith, although I typically don’t believe that is the main reason. Job suffered from sickness and tragedy like no other that I know of. Yet he was a righteous man in every way, and still put all his trust in God. From his (and his friends) Point of View, there was no reason at all for him to go through all of that. He easily could’ve gotten mad at God, saying, “Haven’t I served you? Haven’t I lived righteously for you? And what has it gotten me?!” But while he did ultimately trust God for restoration, and to work his will, he didn’t have the haughtiness of my acquaintance with the empty gas tank. He quietly accepted what God had for him, and stayed true to his faith in God through it all.
Ultimately, this life is a journey…a trying ground. How we respond and react to adversity of any sort shows God who we are, and how devoted to him we are…it also shows Satan and the lost around us the same thing. So…why do the righteous suffer? Why do Christians get sick? Lack of faith? I think not. To prove faith, is what I think.