Contend Earnestly: Are You the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are You the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

As I watched Clay Guida get beat up on Saturday night, I wondered if he really wasn't Kenny G the rest of the year. Honestly...they look like they could be related in some way, in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of way. Then I started to realize that is exactly what I was in high school. I was a terrible kid 6 out of 7 days...maybe more like 6 and half days out of 7. I put my "Christian face" on for those at church and then the rest of the week, I went on to smoke pot, get drunk and would honestly steal stuff for the rush. My parents were well off and would give me anything I wanted, so this was my way to be ghetto. I would sneak out at 2 or 3 in the morning and go and steal stuff, with others, out of cars. I once stole a whole box of baseball cards from a 7-11 (in broad daylight) because someone told me it wasn't possible. I walked out, and then threw the box of cards away...again...not needing the money or merch.

On Sundays though, I was totally different. My Kenny G face was on and ready to impress. I didn't get the fact that my whole life was worship, and I really didn't care. What was interesting is that during this whole time, I would enter into church, falsely repenting and telling God that this was the week I was going to change. But, true to form, I would return to my vomit every week (Proverbs 26:11).

I now know that nothing could have really changed my actions, as they came from the heart, besides the power of Christ. But, the reality of the situation was that I knew that I couldn't tell anyone, because my pops was the pastor. So, instead of looking for help, I just figured one day I would stop doing all this stupid crap. It wasn't that I didn't want to quit or that I didn't want to live for Christ, but it was just the fact that I didn't realize true worship, nor did I have anyone that I could trust to help me in my times of need.

I guess the question then comes, "Is there anything we can do to NOT be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?" I don't want this to become some sort of stringent list to follow, but I think it might be helpful to seek some of these things out to aid you in your walk with Christ.

1. Every day is Worship and Communion with God

Know that everything you do will either be to glorify God, or yourself (which is ultimately Satan). This is why Paul takes it to the mundane in food and drink in 1 Cor 10:31 and why we should try to put Christ in front of us in everything we do. We must continually find ways to put the cross and God's goodness and mercy in front of us daily. Try to find God's grace as you do all the things you repetitively do every day. In those things that do not give God glory, find ways to eliminate them and replace them with something that does. The more we realize that every day is worship and for the glory of God, the less chance there is for us playing the part of Kenny G and Clay Guida.

2. Pray

I suck at praying. Which means, I don't pray enough. I will go days without praying. Praying is a reminder of who this life is all about and who is control. The absence of prayer is the showing that I am in control and it is all about me. Not only is prayer a great reminder of your Creator and Sustainer, it is how we talk to God and one of the ways that God comes to our aid. The more we are on our knees for Christ, the less time we will be bowing down to our idols. Also, one of the major themes of prayer is our repentance. The one who repents, is the one who understands it isn't about them, but about Christ. One who repents gets to be reminded everytime the promise in Colossians 2:13-14

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:13-14

Luther said that the life of the Christian is one of continual repentance, and without prayer, this becomes impossible and allows sin to find refuge and God's glory to flee.

3. Accountability

Be in community with people you can tell stuff to. I am not saying that I would have been any different if I had this type of community, but it would have no doubt helped. I am not telling you that these people will be able to change you, they might be able to guilt you into change for a while, but that isn't the point. The point is for you to have people who can give you wisdom, point you to the cross and mediate on your behalf to our Christ. This will be difficult, because we don't like to lay ourselves bear before others, because they will judge us. What you want is someone who judges you, but still loves you and desires your greatest joy for the glory of Christ.

4. Word

Not weeerd...but in the Word. The Word of God strengthens, convicts, comforts and guides. We need our God to speak to us, straight to the heart so that we can see his mercy and grace up close and personal. I need to be in the word more to just hear from God, instead of trying to break it down and erect it like it's some sort of tricky puzzle that needs to be put together. Sometimes it is good to just read and ask for God's guidance and comfort. Not only that, but Christ is the hero of the Bible and so it is very difficult to make yourself this lone hero where it's all about you. Tough to get past that it is all about Christ and not worship him, unless you aren't saved.

I am writing this post to help myself out. I use my blog a lot of the times as a personal journal for all to read. The reason for this is that I was closed off for years, not letting anyone know who I really was, and now I just don't care. People at school didn't know that went to church and confessed Christ, and people at church didn't know my real life outside of the church doors.

I hope that posts like this help others who hide things, who struggle with the Christian life and believe that it is all about them and their works instead of the One whom God said he was well pleased (when one misunderstands God's pleasure in Christ and not works is when one 'struggles' with their Christian walk). Know that because of Christ, God is well pleased with you (if you indeed know Jesus and He has saved you from your sins) and that because of this, all the "work" you do is because you love him, not to try and get God to be pleased with you. The more we understand this, I believe the more good works flourish and God is praised.


newDOORS-2010 said...

Seth: I can save you more than a few years of frustration. Read "Naked Gospel" by Andrew Farley. After you read that, then read your post again. There's a good chance you wouldn't write it the same way!

newDOORS-2010 said...

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