There are people who have lived lives of various extremes: Things like, I grew up a penniless orphan and then because of my great singing voice and red hair got adopted by a billionaire and we sang a lot, or maybe I was born into a family of complete agnostics and then one day someone invited me to church and the meaning that I had been searching for I found in God.
But if you are like me, I grew up in a family that went to church every time the doors were open and I truly have loved God as long as I can remember. As I would learn more about him I would accept that and make it part of our relationship. My natural bent of personality is just to be nice. I can pretty much get along with anybody and people pretty much can get along with me.
Don’t misunderstand me, I have had my fair share of trials and setbacks in my life, but when I generally look back at my journey of life and ask myself, “When did my faith become my own?” I really struggle.
My questions about faith aren’t wrapped up in a lot of deep sin issues as much as they are wrapped up in who I was before Christ and who I am after Christ. I have to ask myself, “If I wasn’t a believer in Jesus would I really be doing anything differently as far as my actions and how I love the world around me?” I think the answer would be no, so that’s why I think that my biggest problem and sin struggle in my life is being a “nice guy”.
Niceness can be the seed of self-righteousness. Niceness can be the root of pride. Niceness can be the predecessor to complete spiritual blindness. I see that in myself, because it isn’t a stress to me often to do the right thing or treat someone with respect, but that’s just how I was raised. If I’m not careful I find myself becoming just like the Pharisees a “white-washed tomb which outwardly appears beautiful, but within is full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.”
This is all fresh on my heart because we are beginning a series called The Boundary at our church, that is diving into how we raise our kids to really know and have a realtionship with God. As a father of seven I can find myself lying in bed at night, eyes wide open just praying “God rescue my kids from being nice” I don’t want to raise nice kids, I want to raise disciples.
My prayer for myself is that I draw clear lines of dependance on God and that He rescues me from those seeds, those roots, those predecessors of sins that could latch onto me and draw my heart from God.