Tuesday, October 15, 2013


There is a gap between what I believe and what I practice.

For example, I believe that Jesus commands me to practice radical enemy-love and nonviolence, but in practice I enjoy watching violent films.

I believe that Jesus calls me to love others as I love myself, but in practice I am quite selfish and often put my own needs ahead of others.

I believe that Jesus commands me to share my abundance with the poor, but in practice I use my disposal income to purchase a lot of useless things for my own pleasure.

I believe that Jesus commands me to love other Christians as a reflection of my love for Him, but in practice I often find it more difficult to love my brothers and sisters in Christ than other people around me.

I believe that Jesus calls us to serve others in humility, but I often find myself looking for the praise of others and I sometimes feed on that recognition.

I believe that Jesus loves me more than any other person alive, but sometimes I find it very easy to ignore Him.

There's a large gap between the beliefs I hold in my heart and my daily practice of faith. I suspect you may also share the same kinds of struggles.

The reason why we constantly struggle to align our faith with our practice is this: We're not capable of success.

See, when I read the words of Jesus they are so true and so beautiful that my spirit soars. I cannot help but to acknowledge the truth and the wisdom behind His message, but the part I forget is that without Him none of it works.

The problem is me. I am a member of a race of people who have fallen short of the glory of God. This is why Jesus had to come in the flesh in the first place - because we were not capable of doing what God wanted us to do by ourselves.

Jesus stepped down into the muck with us. He demonstrated unsurpassed humility and weakness. He let go of all of His power and authority and embraced a complete dependence upon the Father. This is how Jesus lived the sinless life. This is how He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets.

Then, Jesus turned around and told us that He could do nothing apart from the Father. He also told us that we could do nothing apart from Him. He commanded us to love one another, and to love God and He said that we would never even come close to making that work without remaining in constant and continual reliance upon Himself.

So, my failure to live out the values of His Kingdom is simply due to my attempt to fly solo. This is where I fall down. This is where I am confronted with my own weakness.

The solution? To cling to Jesus daily. To trust in Him for everything. To remain as close to Him as possible every moment of every day. To pray this simple prayer without ceasing - "Help me, Jesus. Help me."

This weakness in my flesh is actually the power of Christ at work in me, if I am connected to Christ. Without that connection, it is only weakness.

The gap between my practice and my faith is equal to the distance between myself and Jesus.
Mind the gap.


1 comment:

the alternative1 said...

this is so true for modern day Christianity and from my studies of Thomas f Torrance there is a disconnect between us as believers and our professed lord in our epistemological knowledge about him and our lack of actual ontological real,actual living relational with him--its a cultural disconnect.