Hungry

I pretty much start every post with a feeling of needing to apologize.  My understanding of so many things is very limited.

This one is no exception.

Being an overweight person makes anorexia such a foreign concept but it plays into what I want to discuss.

So…  Sorry.

God has been hitting me with an idea from several sources so I feel the need to share.  I have some thinking that is just messed up.

A person that is healthy doesn’t treat food like a checklist.  The variety and tastiness of a healthy diet is not something forced, something that must be coerced.  It is actually a joy.

But then we look at our spiritual diet.

I was starving so I forced myself to read a verse out of the Bible.  I was overwhelmed so I threw out a ten second prayer.  I feel surrounded by problems, attacked on every side so I went to church and left as soon as the preacher said “amen”.

We have all been in that place where we feel like we can’t even get off the floor.  We can’t lift our hands in worship.  The songs won’t come.  There are no answers to prayer and no one seems to be listening.  The words on the page mean nothing.

The condemnation that religion would heap on us in those moments is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

But to stay there, or to never step into the fullness of a relationship with our Father, is equivalent to anorexia. Patterns of behavior based on false images, unhealthy concepts of who I am, and who I should be.

And we are dying when we should be so alive.

And so, like the anorexic, we have to force ourselves to eat, spend time in the Word and talking to God, until our taste for food returns. We have to spend time with people, many who are struggling just as much or more than we are. We have to look beyond ourselves and the absolutely screwed up view we see. Then reach out a hand – one to our healer, one to someone who needs healed.

We need to be hungry.

We need to be thirsty.

And start eating.

The Defensive Line (Part 2)

My wife gets upset with me when I tell her I’ve looked at pornography.  She gets angry when I tell her she’s wrong.  She doesn’t support my decisions very often.

We argue, a lot.

Doesn’t that mean I should avoid her when I’m struggling with lust?  Doesn’t that mean I should just be quiet, avoid conflict?  Or, better yet,  blow up from time to time because I can’t take anymore?  Doesn’t that mean we are incompatible, that I should just make my own decisions and suffer the consequences for my actions alone?

In nature, when an organism avoids the process of growth, it dies.  When cells circumvent normal development we call them cancer.  When an individual chooses isolation, it is eaten by predators, or is already a predator itself.

This is going to amaze you.

The reason she gets upset at my looking at pornography is because I am supposed to stop looking at it.  It hurts her.  The reason she gets angry when I tell her she’s wrong is because she is strong, confident in her intellect and wisdom.  She believes in herself.  She doesn’t support my decisions because she needs to know I’ve thought it through.  The consequences of my actions will alter her existence too.

These are all processes in the growth of something healthy, something beautiful.

We are sinful, broken people in serious need of our Savior. We need His life, His love flowing through us.  We desperately need His touch in our lives, on our hearts.

And that touch comes through the people He has gifted to you.

Don’t push them away.

Embrace them!

Are You Growing?

Did you know that cellular growth is not so much a factor of cell size but of cell numbers?

How’s that for a catchy introductory sentence?  Still with me?

As a christian, I have spent many years wanting to be a really great christian.  I wanted to be smart, to know the bible really well.  I wanted to be free from sin, not such messed up person.  I wanted to be wise and strong, a great prayer warrior, a loving father and husband.  I put a lot of time into developing me.

The end result was less intelligent, less free, less wise and strong.  My prayer life was damaged and skewed.  And I was too selfish to love anyone.

Exemplified in one picture of our family.  We were young and had no money but my wife wanted a picture of us.  We had to spend money on a new haircut (a mullet no less) for daddy so that he could look good for the picture.  Such a waste.

The past few years I’ve been reaching new territory in my walk with Jesus.  Why?  The churches that I’ve served in have always been about reaching people, about helping others.  The roles I’ve ministered in have always been about teaching and loving.  I think, and I might even be correct, that the difference is that it is less about me and more about them.

Are you struggling?  Put your armor on and pray.  Are you hurting, get on your knees and reach out to those around you.  Have you lost your desire?  Take up your cross and follow Him.

Cellular growth with no purpose is called cancer.  Cellular growth with self in mind is called hypertrophy.  Cellular growth where the body is fed is called normal and healthy.  Even if the cell itself is flawed, healing takes place as it stays connected to the tissues, the body surrounding it.

What kind of cell do you want to be?  Maybe I’m small, and my function is so miniscule, but I don’t want to be cancerous or hypertrophic.  I want to feed those around me.