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:

christianity

Prosperity and Christianity

I’ve attempted posts on this topic occasionally, generally trying to point out that while many criticisms of the prosperity movement are valid, the teachings are sound.

Cerulean Sanctum has an excellent post up on just that topic.

To sum it up from my point of view, God can and does bless those who follow after him.  The problem with many followers of the prosperity message is, they’re following after the not-so-almighty dollar. . . not God.  Having been through quite a few hardships (including financial) in my life, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ve seen God prosper me, and work financial miracles for me (which I will detail soon) that were beyond the scope of natural occurence, or me getting a just reward for hard work.  As Dan eloquently points out…that’s scriptural.  However, those victories came after I submitted myself to serving God in the midst of terribly trying times, and I was joyful, no matter my situation.  Once I had stopped begging God for more money, and quit trying to make things happen for myself, like stressing out all day trying to find a better job, and more ways to provide for my family, and I started submitting my life to prayer, witnessing, and living to serve God, his purposes, and his kingdom, I saw an equally dramatic shift in my financial situation.

Am I rich?  Far from it…but my situation today is drastically different than it was even 1 year ago.  And as I learn to submit to God in other areas of my life . . . I see God continuing to bless me financially.  Perhaps, as I’ve heard a preacher put it, God is seeing that he can “trust” me with his money.  Meaning that I don’t hold any back from Him during offerings, or from people in need.  Why wouldn’t God prosper you if you were sharing that prosperity with the rest of his people?