Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ways of the World vs. the Way of Jesus

Today's meditation from Forward Day by Day dovetails very nicely with my reflections on politicizing the Church.

Ephesians 6:10-20. Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.

Jesus never promised the life of discipleship would be easy. He repeatedly warned those who would follow him that his way, his truth, his life would incur the wrath of the way, truth, and life of the world. By "world" he did not mean God's creation, but rather the ways of a fallen humanity. The ways of the world are many and varied, but they are all expressions of idolatry. The ways of the world always seek to put something, or someone, in the place of God: money, power, prestige, possessions, nation, self, even religion.

As Christians we are called to follow the way of Jesus, which is the way of the cross. The way of the cross is not about the causes or issues I choose to support, worthy as they may be. It is about following Jesus no matter what. It is about living a sacrificial life of love, compassion, healing, truth-telling, and devotion to God and God's will for all creation. It will take strength, and only the strength that comes from the Lord will suffice.


Anonymous said...

Hi,my daughter is a freshman in a public school. She actually likes school but for some concerning reasons. She has always gone to a small Christian school and seems to be drawn by the acceptance of a large number of new friends (I don't know that any are strong Christians). She even has a boyfriend now! He is a very good kid in the general sense, but not At all the same kind of Christian my daughter is in her understanding of the Lord and His word. We have taught and talked to our daughter tirelessly. Do we take her out of the school, allow her do a little learning on her own or keep encouraging God's will versus the world!

Bryan Owen said...

Hi Anonymous. I appreciate your comment, but please note my request that "If you choose to comment anonymously, please provide a pen name for the sake of disambiguation."

Since I am not in a position to know you or your daughter personally, or to personally know the details of the situation in which you find yourselves, I cannot offer concrete counsel. Nevertheless, I can acknowledge that every parent must take on the responsibility of making decisions that he/she deems best for children. Sometimes those decisions are easy, and sometimes they are quite difficult. And every Christian parent does well to bear in mind that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to live in but not of the world. What it means to live that way can take different forms depending on the circumstances. But faithfulness to Christ must always take precedence.

I wish you well as you discern the best thing to do for your daughter.