Repentance

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Trains of thinking befuddle my mind inasmuch the context is my own narcissistic mind. I say that with a grain of salt because I’m not entirely narcissistic, but my depravity would be lying if I didn’t confess some narcissism. It’s a soundtrack I’ve listened to before, and it provides opportunities for repentance. My worldview holds a strong belief that sin is part of our reality, and we have been continually desensitized from birth to its effects. Generation after generation lays susceptible to the thinking and choices that lead to division, and trust crumbles from my house to the White House. I merely reframe the semantic around the brokenness that sin creates. This same semantic will be crafted again in a hundred years if Jesus does not reveal himself in the heavens for Judgement Day before that.

Ecclesiastes invariably has been saying for thousands of years that what has been will be again, but we do not lose hope because there is nothing better for a human to do than to work hard and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. It’s remarkable really, that even in the course of time, when human beings fail and sin against each other that the goodness of God is apparent because it rains on the righteous and unrighteous. Our sin separates, and death is as assured as taxes, but generations continue to populate the Earth to glorify the Creator. We long for utopia, not because we are narcissistic, but because the breath and image of the invisible God is unrelenting in the journey of His children. We are able to confess our wrong doings, improve relationship and begin again. If that’s not a miracle in and of itself than I’ve missed the presence of Abba Father completely.

Christians never claimed to be perfect. Mature Christians never claimed to be perfect. We strive daily to keep our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross. I don’t have to tell you that all of us have crosses to bear. We must learn to bare them to trusted individuals, so that our hearts don’t grow hard. Selfishness is a global pandemic in the worst sense. Narcissism is a fancy word for selfishness, and it packs more of a punch than the simple word s-e-l-f-i-s-h. We are selfish when we refuse to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We are selfish when we don’t listen. We are selfish when we don’t care for the widows and orphans in their distress. We are selfish when we empower a loved one in their own narcissistic behavior. Pretending someone isn’t damaging someone else with their words and actions isn’t love. Sometimes love calls others out for behavior that is hurtful. Even if you and I aren’t directly involved with a certain sin doesn’t mean we don’t get involved. We do because we are our sister’s and brother’s keeper. That might sometimes mean silence and boundaries, for those can speak as loudly as a firm rebuke. The Holy Spirit convicts us deeply of sin, and if it takes my man cave to hear that conviction than so be it.

I didn’t know this post was going to become a sermon, but obviously it has. I didn’t sit down here to craft it that way, but the way these posts are created are not on a storyboard. I sit down because, like my brother Jason, I’m a writer, and even though months can pass with not publishing I’m still a writer. I’ll always be a writer. That identity has been a part of me since the third grade. That was about the time I remember being “cognizant” of my mental illness and identity as a fully committed Jesus follower. Becoming a Christian does not mean we are transported to the Garden of Eden pre-fall. In fact, sometimes the hardest days of one’s life can come when one chooses the life of a believer.

I think what enamors me most about Jesus is the way he was with people when he was in human form on this planet. My mom gets it. She got it from her mom and dad. Being with people is a lost art, but Jesus can turn any hopeless case into a promised redemption. The idea of waiting to see “the streets of gold” doesn’t excite me. I love a nice place as much as the next person, but what we ultimately need to concentrate on is not on keeping up with the Joneses or even being “normal.” Those two things have always been overrated, and even though they aren’t wrong in and of themselves the paradox will forever be part of the brokenness until lions lie down with lambs. Communication, time spent in fellowship and a refusal to put up with bullying is a good start for being more like Jesus and less selfish.

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