“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” ~Kevin Max
While on a journey of penning my personal Statement of Faith, today I address the human condition and Jesus Christ.
What is our human condition and why Jesus?
I scan decision making tweets on a regular basis to educate myself and my readers on the subject. Occasionally I’ll come across a useful article to help in the decision making process, sometimes I reach out to someone asking for help over their decision, and often I pray for people who voice the fact that they lack the skill or are planning to make a poor decision. Those tweets are most abundant on Fridays. People plan to make a choice they’ll regret in the morning. I get it. I used to be one of them and it is those tweets which bring me to my knees in sadness over what can be avoided if we became a people of better decisions.
I constantly read tweets about how unprepared people feel about making decisions. Yesterday, however, I read a tweet that gets special mention. I quote, “When in doubt I ask myself, What would Jesus do? Then I remember Jesus got crucified, so his decision making skills obviously weren’t brilliant.”
So who is brilliant if Jesus wasn’t?
The comment makes an assumption that maybe we can be more brilliant than that defining moment in history. What I find interesting is that Jesus sure gets a lot of air time without being very brilliant, doesn’t he? He has changed the world more than any other single person in all of history.
The comment also seems to believe that if we just strive, pursue and perfect our efforts we might end up fairly brilliant ourselves. Certainly we’d never be stupid enough to get nailed on a cross. I can do better! Push a little harder. Be wiser. Dog eat dog. Success. Money. Fame. Master my life!!
I must ask, though, as we tirelessly work toward smarter choices than Jesus made, why aren’t we happier? Why aren’t we thriving? Why don’t we feel whole?
Why aren’t we brilliant?
“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25
I remember telling my father years ago how I came to realize that pride is the root of all things human. I was wrestling with pride myself (still do) and tried for years to live the Christian life in my own strength. One day the light bulb went off on my own utter depravity.
We can go nowhere until this point.
I am so passionate about the subject of our worthlessness (Romans 3:10-12)!
Until we come face to face with our own contamination, the work of Jesus will look utterly ridiculous. He’ll look less than brilliant while we naively believe we can do better than His short life.
What do I believe about the Human Condition?
It began with Adam and Eve, but I’m not about to point fingers. I have nothing good within me either; therefore I am alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through the (brilliant) work of Jesus Christ can I be rescued, reconciled and renewed. Even if I live a good, upright, moral life, my “good” can never be good enough. God provided the law, not for me to try and keep it, but to show me how impossible it is to even come close.
An added thought: This actually brings so much freedom as I live my day to day life. I can love people because I see them no differently than myself. Don’t let the worthless thing freak you out if it’s a new concept. Embrace it! Allow it to lower those stressed-out shoulders.
Do you carry the weight of “seeming” perfection?
Are you exhausted?
May I encourage you to free up your striving spirit. No matter the range of sin… wherever you might be… we’re ALL in this together. Your life does not have to be in order to receive this message!
What do I believe about the Work of Jesus Christ?
What Jesus did on the cross for us can never be compared. There is nothing in history that even comes close!! And that is why He is so misunderstood.
We are all guilty of not understanding our Savior completely. We use clichés and overused analogies. Forgive me! I shutter at how I can skew the perfect picture!
Maybe part of the mess up is too many words, but I will do my best to pen brilliant perfection…
I believe that as my substitute, Jesus shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for my sins. That death, along with His victorious resurrection grants me eternal salvation. For more on how I feel about this unfathomable person read about Father, Son, and Holy Ghost from my Statement of Faith.
The Twitter person, in an evaluation over brilliance failed to mention the resurrection.
All the wisdom of the universe rests, yes, in the death of Jesus, but even more so in the resurrection. Atheists and Christians alike agree on the fact that everything arguable about Jesus rests on the resurrection. The truth of Jesus is incomplete without the third day.
“A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me.” Andrew Murray
Thank you, Jesus, for being brilliant enough to be stupid enough to die on a cross for my sins!
What do you believe about the Human Condition and the Work of Jesus Christ?
Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)