Today’s Daily Prompt:
What do you love most about yourself? What do you love most about your favorite person? Are the two connected?
A lot of Christians have this idea that loving Jesus means giving up everything you love and are passionate about. The idea is that those things you love are really temptations to distract you from Jesus. There’s almost this idea that if you aren’t a minister in front of a church every Sunday, then you must have some distraction in your life. That dream you have of being a car mechanic? Distraction. That dream of playing an instrument? Distraction. That dream of having children? Distraction. It’s a wonder we get anything of “real world” importance done. I guess we’re all just bad Christians…
NO! Really examine where this idea comes from. Anything that causes confusion or condemnation is of Satan. Do distractions exist? Yes. But our dreams are not distractions. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” There are no restrictions here. What is your desire? Mine is to get a PhD in Mathematics. He has brought me so far as to get my Master’s and I believe He will carry me the rest of the way.
I can hear my Christian brothers and sisters saying, “But we have to die daily to ourselves!” Um,,, No. We don’t. Others have spelled this out before (for example) but here it is on my blog. Have you ever read “die daily” in context? I Corinthians 15:29-31, “Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It is clear that Paul said, “I die daily.” in reference to the fact that he literally faces death every hour for the message of Jesus Christ. He says it again in Romans 8, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Again, referencing his persecution. You won’t find “die to yourself” in the Bible.
But what about, “Take up your cross and follow me.”? What do you think the cross of Christ was for? We mystically followed Him onto that cross and were crucified with Him. Romans 6 says, “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” Galatians 2 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” So, you can see, we have already died with Christ, once and for all. There’s no need to keep roasting ourselves on the fire. There’s no need to work ourselves raw in an attempt to absolve us of these “distractions”.
Here’s a radical concept for Christianity at large. Our dreams are God-given. He has called some of us to be car mechanics, some to be musicians, some to be mathematicians, and, yes, some are called to be pastors or ministers. It’s only an evil, religious spirit that says that we have to fit the cookie-cutter mold of the Christian life.
To answer the prompt, I love that I have a mind that can comprehend and break down complex ideas. I love that I can get on here and write about whatever is on my heart. What do I love most about my favorite person? Well, that person is Jesus. What I love most is that He gives me the desires of my heart. He put dreams in my head of becoming a mathematician and is faithful to carry them out. What I really love about Him is that he’s fun. He finds mathematics as much fun as I do. To the car mechanic out there, he finds cars as fascinating as you do. To the parent out there, he loves your kids more than you do. So, are the two connected? Yes, inextricably.