Salvation in 30 minutes or less, or it's free!

Last week on J-wise posted a pretty sweet quote from a guy named Rhett Smith. In this quote, Smith suggests that we have strayed away from the style of teaching that Jesus used with his disciples, and that our doing so is preventing people from actually taking time to read, study, and extract meaning from scripture, which would lead to a much greater understanding and more durable faith as a result.

It’s as if the road that leads us to an end isn’t important anymore, which is a silly notion to say the least. Imagine if we were to engineer a type of pill that could provide us with all of the nourishment we would ever need in a day. This pill could contain every vitamin, mineral, and calorie a person could ever use from morning to night. As long as we’re talking crazy, let’s say it contains the necessary hormones to stave off any sort of hunger we would ever feel as well.

Knowing how amazing food is, could you do it? Could you sacrifice the enjoyment of sinking your teeth into an ooey-gooey, warm-and-toasty, extra sloppy-melty piece of pizza? Could you forego twirling and slurping each tomato and parmesan-drenched spaghetti noodle as you glance around the table trying to see who’s going to steal the last breadstick? Could you go the rest of your life without carving your way through a delightful blend of ice cream and whatever candy your little heart happened to be pining for as you stepped up to the counter?

I mean, as long as we are getting what we ultimately need from food, there’s no point in the process, right? Why bother with all the ceremony when we could provide ourselves with everything food provides in the blink of an eye by swallowing a pill?

Obviously I’m being facetious to demonstrate the absurdity of the example and questions I’ve posed. But, why do we approach a relationship with Jesus this way?

As Christians, we meander about talking about the most satisfying, fulfilling relationship anyone could ever know. We swear up and down that the ways of the world are repulsive and are to be avoided at all costs, yet it seems that we can get caught up in approaching our loving savior in the same way that we approach a flame-broiled Whopper. I want it my way, and I want it now!

At what point did we decide that hearing from God was work? And when exactly did we lose any and all appreciation for the journey of reading, studying, and meditation on God’s living word? And most dishearteningly of all, have we really been led to believe that if we simply manage to glean all of the “lessons” from the Bible that we’ll finally “get it”? We’ve been offered eternal salvation, and a promise from an everlasting God that He will walk hand-in-hand with us through every joy and trial in our lives. And instead of walking by his side, we’re trying to drag God by the hand and hurry him along as if we have somewhere else we’d rather be.

Of course our culture isn’t going to change anytime soon. It’s on us to put our approach to our relationships with Jesus in perspective. We’re faced with a myriad of decisions everyday, and by making a choice to endure and enjoy the journey instead of instantly rewarding ourselves, we can slowly teach our hearts to have a greater faith in God’s timing.

So, the next time your pastor doesn’t answer every question you had about a topic, maybe you can do the research yourself and let God show you the answers instead of just sending an email to your pastor and taking the easy way out. Or maybe the next time you’re facing a difficult trial, you can pray for the faith and wisdom to endure the suffering rather than for a swift conclusion. Even if you’re thumbing through the pages of God’s word and you end up confused by what you just read, try thanking God for the opportunity to explore the depths of his love because, deep down, you know that working through it will be much more gratifying and worthwhile than swallowing a pill.


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