The title of today's blog is also the title of Chapter 5. As I started re-reading the chapter this weekend, I decided that I should really start off this segment a few pages into the chapter... but, not to worry, I'll go back and address many of Chan's comments from his opening remarks in the days to follow. Chapter 5, in my opinion, starts out with a very bold assumption: There truly is no such thing as a Lukewarm Christian. Chan calls it an oxymoron, or a contradictory term, meaning it's impossible to be both lukewarm and a Christian... which leads to a very troubling reality, if you agree with Chan's logic. Chapter 5 really delves into this possibility and its implications to people like me... and, I dare say, you. As I reviewed these somewhat hard to read pages over the weekend, I quickly realized that many of us could read these words and not only become convicted by their implications, but also become downtrodden by our inherent fallibility. The reality is that we're ALWAYS going to fall short. This might come as a disdainful thought for many; however, the sooner we embrace this reality, the sooner we can move forward in this journey.
Chan says the following, about five pages into Chapter 5:
"I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as they read this book. In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, His grace covers us.
"Each of us has lukewarm elements and practices in our life; therein lies the senseless, extravagant grace of it all. The Scripture demonstrate clearly that there is room for our failure and sin in pursuit of God... I'm not saying that when you mess up. it means you were never really a genuine Christian in the first place. If that were true, no one could follow Christ." p. 87-88
As we move forward, from this point on, I want to make sure that each and every one of us... no matter how long we've been a Christian... keeps this fresh in our minds. This only further substantiates the fact that we are not perfect (and we will NEVER achieve perfection here!) Chan goes on to state that our focus (instead of the unattainable perfection) should be about obtaining "a posture of obedience and surrender, where a person perpetually moves towards Christ." p. 88 I recently compared my journey in faith to a life-long road trip. Some days make life seem effortless... blue skies, no traffic and no screaming kids. Other days seem to be crammed with torrential rains, flat tires and "potty-stops" every 20 minutes.... but the overwhelming majority of the days fall somewhere in between... THANK GOODNESS! Our journey in faith is just that... a journey. The culmination occurs when we leave our life here and are joined with Christ in Heaven. It's time we start focusing and preparing for the journey. There's a lot to learn... and just like any educational experience, we're not expected to know everything (Remember: Perfection is not obtained here!) Embrace the fact that we will all make mistakes... the key is to learn from them!
A little comic relief for today. I found this a few months ago. It's a spin on the ever present PC v. Mac commercials. A little food for thought! There are quite a few different versions out there... and some of them are pretty funny!