Life is tough.
And Christianity can make it even tougher.
I often wonder if it is even worth it to keep trying to live a godly life when i am regularly treated worse by people who call themselves Christians than i am by non-believers. A few weeks ago, i received an email from a pastor telling me i was not allowed to step foot back inside his church unless i seek reconciliation first.
Reconciliation for what?
I asked him to preach the gospel more, and in the end, i told him that he wasn’t preaching the gospel because he refused to listen to (or even hear) what i was saying. My thinking was/is this: The gospel is what saves people from hell; the gospel is what gives me hope to keep on going in this life; the gospel is the message of Jesus Christ—the most precious person in history. If sermons are falling short of proclaiming the message of Jesus, and if preachers are judged more harshly for their words (cf. James 3:1), then why would a godly, loving, Christ-centered pastor rebel against my simple plea to preach the unadulterated gospel of Jesus?
Besides, the gospel is the message of reconciliation (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:11-21), so how can i reconcile when he doesn’t even accept the very message that initiated the need for reconciliation in the first place?
It’s sad. And it’s disheartening. And it seriously tempts me to throw in the towel on this whole Christian thing. Like really, why have i been studying for the past seven years to become a pastor (whether in a classroom or on my own) when i haven’t sat under a model pastor for over 6 years? Why have i been praying for a godly, Christian girl to marry when the godliest Christian women end up dumping me and marrying the next guy they go out with? I could easily throw away my standards, get a halfway decent job doing something secular, and marry a girl who doesn’t love Jesus but who does love me.
For the past nine years, i’ve wanted nothing more than to spend my life (better: give my life) for the sake of Christ. I thought it would primarily happen out in the world. But over the past five years, i have been treated worse by people in churches than i have by people in the world. Something doesn’t add up.
So, at this point, if you’re reading this, pray for me.
The Spirit that indwells me will not allow me to run away from my calling. The Spirit that indwells me will not let me seriously consider dating a girl who does not love Jesus. The Spirit that indwells me convinces me that i am right to emphasize the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the most important of all doctrines that a church can teach.
And the Spirit that indwells me convicted me as soon as i wrote the third sentence of this post. “I often wonder if it is even worth it to keep trying to live a godly life.”
Do you see the problem?
It’s a 6 letter word, though the root verb is 3 letters and the -ing ending adds three more letters.
Christianity is not about trying. Habakkuk tells us what Christianity is about.
- Habakkuk 2:4 (HCSB, emphasis added)
Look, his ego is inflated; he is without integrity.
But the righteous one will live by his faith.
And then the New Testament expands on the importance of this fact:
- Romans 1:16-17 (HCSB, emphasis added)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
- Galatians 3:11 (HCSB, emphasis added)
Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith.
- Hebrews 10:38 (HCSB, emphasis added)
But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him.
I wrote the following on March 7, 2019, in my personal journal based on Galatians 3:14,
This is why Jesus died. Plain and simple. Jesus died so that my righteousness could be had by faith. Abraham understood this 1600 years before Jesus. I’ve got the full counsel of God about Jesus, but i still want to add my works? Am i stupid? As i looked at yesterday, i was in by faith; i can’t protect myself by works. I’m stupid if i think so. Salvation is by faith from beginning to end. If i’m in by faith, i stay in by faith; the righteous will live by faith means that if i’m not living by faith, then i’m not righteous, that faith is a lifestyle, and that works play no part in my righteousness. Sola Fide is not just a matter of orthodoxy; it is also a matter of orthopraxy. I need to live by faith to be led by the Spirit in righteousness.
Long story short, amid the temptation to give up on Christianity, the Spirit is urging me to cling even more tightly to the Jesus that certain Christians seem to want to relegate to the sprinkled on afterthought of their lives. I need Jesus. He saved me. He keeps me. He loves me. Even if other Christians fail to love me rightly, and even if God doesn’t have a special woman out there for me, i can know without a doubt that Jesus loves me (cf. 1 John 3:16, Romans 5:8). This should spur me on to live by faith every day.
In conclusion, you should know that i am working on a new rap album. There is no set release date yet, but as of today all of my previous albums are live again wherever you get music (search: liL fytr) to tide you over until then. A preview of some new lyrics:
But as i was sayin—i’m makin this album
Cuz it’s how ima fight the temptation to falcon
ya know—takin bites off carrion or just flyin
as far as i can from the situation
I am making a new album in an attempt to work through the junk in my heart right now. I’m making a new album to fight both depression and bitterness. I’m making a new album to proclaim Jesus as the most glorious and worthy being in the universe.
In this with you.
Soli Deo Gloria
Thanks for reading.