I’m convinced that the Christ walk cannot be lived in the abstract and in the idea. Our walk with Christ should lead us somewhere. If we don’t have a bent for action; we have to wonder if we’re really followers of Jesus. A few years ago I realized how deeply I have been affected by the sin of abstraction. According to the Oxford dictionary and abstract is 1. existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or practical existence.
We lived in Colorado Springs and one of our neighbours lost her job. I walked over to her house and listened to her and then we prayed for God’s provision. I worked through the book of 1 John at the time and that evening I read 1 John 3:16-18,
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
No room for abstraction there! Convicted by the Spirit I wrote a cheque.
The other experience was during our congregational singing. We were singing something that said that we’re bowing down. I sang it with my mouth; yet my body stood firm like a pole. I justified my behavior with the classic thought ‘Jesus knows that in my heart I’m really bowing down.’
The only true thing about that statement is the first two word ‘Jesus knows’.
He knows that I’m too proud to bow down, and he knows that my rationalization only served to divert my lifestyle away from action. He knows that it’s a classic case of compartmentalizing; a dualism that paralyses. These days when I sing I try to be honest in what I’m singing, if I can’t sing with an honest heart then I use the lyrics as a facilitator for repentance.
I’m wondering if some of you who’re reading this have the same struggle?