A few years ago a friend posted on Facebook about an encounter she had while driving. A man with some sort of “proud to be Christian” or “God sticker” on his bumper had cut her off and I think flipped her off. She vented on Facebook about the hypocrisy of Christians… that they are so quick to tout their faith and yet time and time again she sees them act so terrible to others. She said they must not be truly Christians if they act this way. They are liars and hypocrites.
I never responded as those who did were set on demeaning Christians as a whole and I didn’t have it in me that day to fight the good fight, but it made me wonder why we decide that Christians never fail. To assume that they are perfect simply because they claim to be followers of Christ is actually very contrary to Christ’s actual message. Jesus told the scribes of the Pharisees that it is not the healthy who need a physician but those who are sick and he too came to heal the sinners and did not come to call the righteous (Mark 2:17).
While we should all strive to be saints, the truth of the matter is we are sinners and this means that Christ is calling us. He has come to heal us. He wants to build a bridge to span the gap that separates us from him.
Chapter 24: The Gap
This chapter asks us to take a long, hard look at our lives to see where there might be gaps in our relationship with Christ and with following his Word. It’s easy to look at others and see where we are doing better them and then perhaps be tricked into feeling like we are “doing it right”. There is a danger in comparing our faith to the faith of others. Christ doesn’t call us to be a better Christian than so-and-so. Instead he calls us to be the best Christian we can be simply out of love for him. Matthew Kelly reminds us that being a Christian is not about being perfect. Instead it requires us to live as Christ calls us to live. To do so we have to work alongside of Christ to close the gap between where he is and where we are.
Point to Ponder: Do not be afraid of what God is inviting you to right now.
I’m getting ready to begin a new chapter in my ministry in the church. It’s a little scary. I am leaving some ministries that I have helped grow for over a decade. But I feel like God is inviting me to help in other areas of our parish life. I have felt the call for a little while but lately it’s been pretty loud and intense. I’m nervous. I don’t want to leave the familiar. The familiar is easy. It comes without many risks. But the familiar has begun to keep me from taking my relationship with Christ to the next level and I know that God wants more from me.
Sometimes change can be very beneficial to our souls. While I prepare to change the way I bring Christ to his people, I know that God also calls me to change my inner life too. Christ wants to know us deeply and intimately. He wants us to know him this way as well. The only way to do this is to dedicate our lives to getting to know him. We have to accept the invitations he places in our lives and we have to make a commitment to know him personally. It will be through our prayer life, reading his Word, and centering our lives on him that we can come to intimately know him.
Verse to Live: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will bring it to completion.” Philippians 1:6
If we want to be the best versions of ourselves we have to understand that we cannot do it alone. We need God to complete the work that has been started within us. There are times, like the man who cut my friend off and flipped her off while driving, where we will fail miserably, but thankfully we have a physician among us who is set and ready to heal us. But we have to go see the physician and trust in his remedy if we wish to be healed.
Question to Consider: Why do you resist the happiness that God wants to fill you with?
I’m not sure why I resist happiness other than perhaps I don’t feel worthy of it. Throughout my life I have always been told I am not enough. My heart knows that this is not true as I know God loves me and wants me to be happy, but my mind has a hard time overcoming those messages that I heard from the time I was a small child.
I also think that as humans we simply don’t understand that what we think will make us happy is not what truly what will make us happy. We are bombarded with images and messages that we have to look past in order to understand where true happiness comes from. That can be hard to do. We can be weighed down with thoughts of what we think will make us happy and what we think we need and completely miss what God is trying to bless us with to provide true and lasting happiness.
Your Turn: What gaps are there between you and Christ? Is it easier to see the faults of others and the gaps that exist between them and Christ or can you readily see where your own failings are and where Christ is calling you to bridge the gaps that separate you from him?
Prayer: Jesus, give me the courage to begin and the courage to continue.
Open my eyes and my heart to respond to your call. I know that you can perfect me and help me become the person you call me to be. Help me to close the gap that exists between us. Amen.