Family 2015

Family 2015

Friday, July 15, 2016

Good Christian or Bad Christian....?

So, I was reading a devotional this morning and it really, really, really bothered me.

The author was relating an instance where one of her children had gotten into trouble at school and it threw her into a whirlwind of feeling like a "bad Christian parent."  Now, she was being honest with her circumstance and trying to help others, that's not what bothered me; it bothered me that she had to spend one ounce of her time and effort trying to combat that feeling.

I mean, are there "bad Christians" and "good Christians?"

If there are, where can I find that measuring stick to find out who is who?  At what point do my struggles put me into "bad Christian" territory and which struggles are holy enough to avoid the label?

No, no, no...the very idea of that is ridiculous.

We are Christians because we follow Christ.  Period.  I will struggle, you will struggle, every person will struggle - but that is because we are human, it has no bearing on our Christianity.  Our Christianity comes into play in HOW WE DEAL with the struggles.

It is a waste of my time and effort to feel guilty for being human.  It does not matter what a terrific parent you are, your child will make some bad choices.  It does not matter what a great spouse you are, you and your partner will not always see eye to eye.  It doesn't matter how hard you work, sometimes money will be in short supply...etc, etc, etc.

WHEN these things come up, what do you do?

The answer to THAT question determines where you are in your Christian walk.

So, dear author of that devotional, please take the effort you are using to wonder where your Christianity is failing and put it toward helping your child deal with this situation.  Discipline him, love him, teach him, move forward.

That's what Christians do.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Self Help?

So, I read this quote in an article yesterday:

"The huge and punishing self-help industry preys on fear and adds guilt to the mix."

It stopped me dead in my tracks.  The idea of "self-help" has always bothered me...not the idea that we should try to better ourselves, to grow as individuals; but more the insinuation behind it that if we would just get our crap together, our problems would magically disappear.  I mean, clearly all of our challenges are self-induced, right?  If we were just more disciplined, more focused, were always positive, took these vitamins, ate no gluten, ate no dairy, ate no meat, trusted God more, worked harder, exercised more, drank more water....

It has always seemed a hamster wheel to me and I jumped out a long time ago, but I have assumed it was simply people judging and trying to one up each other...until I read that quote.

Like a lightning bolt to my brain - SELF-HELP INDUSTRY.  oh.  Oh.  OH. OHH. !!!!  

This is about money.

People, who are sincerely doing their best in life are being beaten mentally and made to feel unworthy and useless and stupid because somebody wants a paycheck.  Got it.

It made me feel angry and sad and helpless all at once.

Listen!!!  We cannot save ourselves.  None of us can.  The whole reason Jesus came is because there is no such thing as self-help.  We cannot, CANNOT do enough of the "right" things to make ourselves better, to make ourselves whole.

There is nothing wrong with trying...but there is something patently wrong with trusting your own effort.

My dear friends, eat as well as you can, exercise, sleep, take care of yourselves...absolutely.  But, at the end of the day, fall onto the rock, the great I AM, the lover of your soul and be convinced that He and He alone can save you.  Not only is He the only one who is able to, but He desperately wants to lift that burden from your shoulders.

This blog started off being about helping Moms who were being made to feel inadequate, but I realize now it's not just Moms, it's people in general.

 I declare war on the "self-help" industry.  I may be just one person, but I'm coming for you.