What is the metric for godliness in your church?
Number of bible studies one attends? Number of accountability partners one has? Hours per week one spends serving on ministry teams? Length and consistency of morning ‘quiet times’?
If those activities are the metric by which godliness is implicitly measured in the Christian subculture, then there is no question why Christians are so incredibly busy all of the time. But, is that right?
Coming out of a conservative Christian university, I am struck by how hectic my life had gotten. I had some three bible studies a week, had several accountability partners to update and ask “how’s it going?” I feared the consequences of having to tell my accountability partner that I had missed my quiet time this morning and so I dutifully lost sleep to appease the question. And then there were younger guys that I was trying to mentor on top of it all.
Forget about developing relationships with people who aren’t yet Christians. In fact, forget about developing relationships. I was way too busy with this implied Christian ethos. And the outcome after three years? Exhaustion.
Now, with a fresh view of the church as a family, I am coming to see the value and need for a restful and focused schedule. Read Luke 10:38-42.
But why do we make ourselves so busy?
1) The gospel is not expounded well in many Christian sub cultures
The gospel is clear: Jesus performed perfectly because we couldn’t. More Christian activity does not equal more godliness or effectiveness in ministry. Because of the gospel, Christians should be among the most focused and laid back people in any city.
2) We compete with each other as rivals instead of living with each other as family
Because all of us are broken, pathetic individuals made happy in Christ because of Christ, it’s silly to try to compete. But we do. When the gospel is not understood, Christianity becomes a try-harder, do-better game of social appearances. Everyone wants to be known as the “lovely Christian couple” or the “radical Christian dude”. And we’ll work hard to gain that status over our fellow brethren.
In familia Dei, however, the operative dynamic is to glorify the one worthy son, Jesus. A consistent, sustainable, liberating way of doing that is by resting in and always operating in the knowledge that Jesus is the only worthy son in the family, and I am loved no less than he.