Monthly Archives: June 2011

Losing Interest

Have you ever been listening to a sermon or lesson and your attention begins to slip away? Or perhaps you’ve been reading something spiritual and find yourself becoming bored or apathetic towards what it says (hopefully not this one yet since we are only two sentences in). I have found myself in both situations and I’m often quick to push the blame away from me. I blame it on the poor speaking skills of the one preparing the sermon. I may explain it away by claiming that it’s simply not “my style.” Perhaps you’ve faced similar circumstances.

A friend once asked my dad if he’d like to attend a lecture. The lecture was some kind of medical lecture and though my dad had very little interest he agreed to go. The focus of the lecture, he found out, was on the 7th vertebrae of the human spine. At least one full hour was going to be spent talking about that one vertebrae. Needless to say, my father’s attention span was just about zero on this occasion. However, as he looked around the room he noticed something interesting. All of the other listeners in the room were listening very closely. Many of them were even taking frivolous notes and seemed incredibly focused on the speaker. The speaker, as my dad explains, was nothing special. He was just a simple doctor giving a lengthy talk about part of the human spine.

So why were these others listening so closely? It wasn’t because of the speakers abilities or style. It was because they were interested in the topic. In fact, not only were they interested but they saw it as a vital part of their studies. I often wonder why we aren’t always the same way about spiritual things. When I find my attention wandering during a sermon or some other presentation of God’s word I have to ask myself, “Are you losing focus because you aren’t truly interested in spiritual things?” Perhaps that is the problem. When we spend time reading God’s word or listen to others present God’s word, do we become disinterested because we haven’t truly invested ourselves in spiritual things?

Psalm 1:2 explains the actions of the righteous man and states, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” If we are truly striving to be a righteous people, should we not delight in hearing and reading God’s word? Not only are we supposed to delight in God’s law but that should lead to our meditation in it. We should long to hear and read God’s word at every opportunity. Let’s challenge ourselves to do so. The next time you find your attention slipping during your Bible reading or during a lesson on God’s word, don’t put the blame on what you’re reading or who is speaking. Perhaps the true problem is that we haven’t fully invested ourselves in spiritual things.

Secret Identity

This week in Parker we have been conducting our yearly Vacation Bible School. It has been a wonderful week and I know that many seeds were planted through the teaching of God’s word. As usual, we picked a theme that we could use for decorations and the nightly lessons. This year’s theme was God’s Heroes. We played off the idea of Super Heroes and how we can be heroes in God’s eyes. In this post, I just wanted to share something we have been talking about in the teen class.

Each Super Hero has a secret identity. For Superman, it’s Clark Kent. For Batman, it’s Bruce Wayne. Regardless of who it is, most Super Heroes don’t act as that hero 24 hours a day. They each have different reasons for doing so but it boils down to the fact that they want to live a normal life to some degree. They want to be able to fit in. For that reason, when it’s time to fight crime they slip on a mask or a costume and are able to do so without revealing who they really are. It is as if they are two different people.

I know that as children we wanted to look up to Super Heroes but this is definitely one area where they got it wrong. In fact, how often do we as Christians attempt to do the same? We want to be Christians and do what’s right but when we’re among worldly people we change. We want to fit in so we remove our “mask” in an attempt to blend into the crowd. Like Peter Parker when he was tired of being Spiderman, we try to hide who we are.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Our goal as Christians should not be to fit into the world but to be set apart. We recognize that we are different and we should be proud of that. It should never be something that we hide.

If we are attempting to hide our identity, the question becomes this: why? Are we ashamed? Romans 1:16-17 tells us that we shouldn’t be. Are we afraid? 2 Timothy 1:7 explains that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Is it for some other reason? We as Christians need to do everything we can to embrace our Christianity and remove the secret identities we may be hiding. There is no need for the Bruce Waynes and the Clark Kents in this world. If we truly want to be heroes to this lost and dying world we must separate ourselves from the old man of sin and become that which God desires us to be. No more hiding. Let’s save this world!