CAUGHT IN A CORNER

I like writing and have been enjoying the blogging process. But I am discovering a difficulty in the process. Blogging for me consists of writing one or two short articles a day several days a week, which fits well into my personal schedule and allows time for other things like sermon preparation and flying the drone I got for Christmas.

However, while I like to have a sense of where a particular theme is going, the fact that I write short articles means that now and then, I find I have written myself into a corner that I have to find a way out of. In this particular thread, I have been writing about our witness. So far, I have said that we are not perfect witnesses and that our witness begins when we publically claim faith. People see our faith in what we do and that is the foundation of our witness.

It sounded really good when I was writing it, each piece making sense and saying something that I think is important. But I have arrived at the corner–one wall tells me that I am a witness no matter what and the other wall telling me that I am never going to be a perfect witness. The paint covering the floor leading to the corner tells me that my imperfection causes serious problems with my witness. I can’t not witness and I can’t witness perfectly.

Rather than give up blogging and go fly a drone (not a kite), I will try to deal with this corner. I am not sure there is a way out of it–and maybe we don’t actually need to get out of that corner. Being caught in that difficult spot keeps us aware of the reality we live with as witnesses.

And being aware of that fact will perhaps motivate us to do two things. First, it will help us as we seek to grow towards a more mature expression of our faith. If we are not perfect, we have room to grow. I think the lack of serious effort to grow in faith is a real problem for both individual believers and the church as a whole. Our immaturity in the faith creates all sorts of problems.

When we don’t grow in faith, we don’t have the ability to challenge our lives or our culture and that results in a great many non-Christian ideas getting jammed into our faith. They don’t belong there but because of our immaturity, we put them there and the world ends up believing that this idea is a part of our faith.

We end up giving witness not only to the truth of the faith but to some seriously dangerous ideas as well, ideas which will probably drive away more people than our witness to the truth will encourage.

Growing in faith takes work–hard work. It will be painful at times. There will be times of stress and confusion as we confront the parts of our lives that need to be changed because of our faith. We will need to develop new habits and patterns in our lives that will encourage and enable growth towards maturity.

And much of the work towards maturing in faith is work we have to do ourselves. We can have lots of helpers and guides; we can read all the spiritual maturity books; we can engage in long and painful prayer sessions–but in the end, when God shows us what has to be changed for our next step towards maturity, we have to make it ourselves. God will provide enabling power through the Holy Spirit; spiritual guides will show us ways to do it; fellow believers will provide support and prayer but in the end, we will need to take the step towards maturity.

And then, having done that, we will have to continue doing the same process because maturity in faith isn’t completed with one step. It requires that we commit ourselves to a lifetime of work and growth. That may be part of the reason why so many believers chose not to move towards maturity–they don’t really want to put in the work that is necessary.

So, as we sit in the corner created by the reality of always being witnesses and our inability to be a perfect witness, we can see the need to work at developing maturity in faith so that our witness will be better.

There is a second thing the corner can motivate us to do–but that is the topic for the next post.

May the peace of God be with you.

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