When Faith Is About Me
The other day I was perusing my prayer journal and came across an entry that I had previously marked with a post-it note as something that would make a good blog entry some day. I reread the entry, but decided it wasn’t quite ready for posting and I wasn’t up to fleshing it out right then.
Enter one of my fellow bloggers who quite thoroughly and logically dealt with the issue of my post, and so I decided to post what I had written, only slightly edited, and include here a link to the post at Answers from the Book. The reason I’ve included this link to Loren’s post is because in it he answers the objection raised by the second group of people I have written about below.
Rick Warren and Max Lucado are both pastors and Christian authors who have written and argued that “It’s not about me.” I agree that this point is true in the sense that they both mean it. That is, life and our purpose here on earth is about Jesus, it is about God’s will for us, and it is about glorifying God. It is not about what God can do for us (because He has already done so much more than we deserve), but it is, rather, about what we can do for God.
However, there is another sense in which it is about me. There is one situation where the focus must be on me and what I choose and will to do. That situation is when I choose whether to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. No one else can do that for me. (As a side note, I do believe that the Holy Spirit is involved here in drawing us to the Lord and leading to a place of being able to make that decision, but that is not relevant to the point of this post.)
There are two ways in which people try to deflect attention from themselves and onto others (though not onto Christ) at this critical juncture, when what they need to do is look within and see their own need for a Savior.
First, some people divert focus to their family and upbringing. They say, “My family always attended church when I was a child” or “My parents are Christians” or “My spouse is a Christian,” and then conclude from this premise that they are therefore going to go to Heaven. They believe that they can vicariously win a place in Heaven and not have to make a person decision or commitment to Christ.
The second group of people divert the focus to all the people in the world who belong to other religions — the Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, New Agers, etc. — and argue that surely God would not send all those innocent people to Hell. The mantra goes, “I just can’t believe that they will all go to Hell because they don’t believe in Jesus, because it is clear they believe in God and do their best to do what is right.” Again, the focus is diverted away from the need to make a personal choice or commitment to accept Christ’s atoning sacrifice based on what the individual has heard about the Gospel and onto those who may or may not have heard the Gospel themselves.
In both of these cases there is a need for the person to realize that it is about them and their personal choice based on the truth they have heard. No one can choose for them, and their failure to choose is not going to change anyone else’s destiny.
As for me, I have made my choice to follow Christ based on the Gospel that I have heard. It is now my responsibility to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NIV).
Yes I realized a few years ago that it’s about me. Back then I couldn’t leave the people I love for Christ because I don’t want them to feel unloved. It’s only when I decided to leave them and choose Christ that there is more love because they eventually come with me to the source of love.
Rea, Isn’t it wonderful how the love of Christ works that way? That is so cool that your loved ones followed you to Jesus! 🙂 Peace, Linda
I’m so glad you posted this. It seems like God is giving me lots of teachings on salvation. 🙂 Love it and need it right now.
I liked your point about when someone brings up other faiths, that they are diverting from making a personal choice.
God bless you as you live out your personal choice of Jesus!
Deb, I had a boss at a previous job who did just that. He was an older guy and had experienced a stroke, almost died. I felt like I needed to talk to him about Jesus, but he argued that he couldn’t believe God would send all those other people to hell. I didn’t have an answer back then, and afterwards I knew I needed to learn more and be ready the next time. Peace, Linda
So true. He bids all to come, but we do have to come. Thanks
Ben, Thanks for the encouraging comment! Peace, Linda
“As for me, I have made my choice to follow Christ based on the Gospel that I have heard. It is now my responsibility to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NIV).”
Amen. Amen. Amen!! Thanks for speaking the truth in love.
Jesus said “I am the way…” Whoever comes to the Father, comes through the Christ. We have to respond. He offers life but we must receive it. Salvation is not hereditary or passed on by osmosis…
Thank you Linda.
God bless you,
Ann, I like that: ” Salvation is not hereditary or passed on by osmosis.” Great summation of my post. John 14:6 is my favorite verse in the whole Bible, though there are a ton of verses that all tie for second place. He couldn’t have made it any clearer if He tried! Peace, Linda
What you speak of is so very true. We all have a decision to make in life; to follow or not. I’m happy to see you not only chose to follow, but to answer to God’s calling of discipleship and doing His work.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment. Peace, Linda