So, as I've stated before, I'm kind of interning at my church with my youth group. It's cool and fun and I get to hang out with kids and all, so it's a blast, whatever. So, tonight we had a service (I mean, duh. It's WEDNESDAY!) We're talking about "Godview" this month- basically discussing what our view of God is, and possibly some things we need to change. It was a really good lesson tonight, and I definitely had some things that I'm thinking about. The two "myths" that we debunked tonight were:
1. God wants me to be good.
2. God wants me to be happy.
Not that these things aren't good and all, but they can really distort our view of God. Some people stop coming to church because they think they aren't "good enough" anymore or because God didn't answer a prayer. We focused on Philippians 3: 7-9 tonight, here it is in case you forgot (I mean, I know you biblical scholars have the whole book memorized, but some of us might need a little refresher)
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!So. What does this mean? Verse 9 (I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.) tells us that the things we once thought were valuable (such as money, love, friends, things that make us happy) are considered GARBAGE when we compare it to what God has done. God's number one priority isn't making us happy. Faith is not just trusting God when he does things that we want, rather it is trusting God NO MATTER WHAT. That is powerful stuff. He's always there, even when the things he's doing don't match up.
Okay. So, don't laugh at me guys. But I have a confession. On my way home from church I listened to Britney Spears. I know, I know. But she was on an old CD with Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus that I had...and I kind of forgot she was on there until the song came on. I don't know if you're familiar with her song "Lucky" (from circa 2000), but it's one of the few songs of hers that I actually heard when it came out (the other was "Oops I Did it Again". I may have been a sheltered child, but I did go to a public school.) While I don't actually remember it coming out, since the rediscovery of this song (circa Freshman Year) it's become a song I...kind of like. Don't laugh! Promise I have a point. There's a line in the song that says "If there's nothing missing in my life, then why do these tears come at night?" The song is about a popstar that has everything, but still feels like something is missing. And, while I may be making quite a leap here--I think this is sometimes how we feel about God. And this just struck me on the way home. Like I'm sitting the car, and I have a theological moment with Britney Spears. Crazy, I know. But, sometimes we get everything we want (the garbage of the world) but still don't find fulfillment because we're missing God. God's chief goal isn't to make us happy, it's to fill that part of our soul. There's a crucial part that's missing without him.
Okay. Now that the Britney awkwardness is over (I'm thinking I'll refrain from mentioning that one in my Christian Theology class if we ever discuss this topic), let's move on to the 2nd part of the Philippians verse. God wants me to be good. This is a hard one for me. I mean, I'm a RULE FOLLOWER. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me. If there's a rule, chances are I'm not going to break it. I'm really good at being good. But the verse in Philippians says, "I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ". Wow. It's not my righteousness that's getting me in to heaven. I mean, I know that, but sometimes I forget it. God put me here not to be a "good" person, but rather to lead others to him. While I don't think this gives us a free pass to live an immoral lifestyle (I mean, if we truly love Him, why would we want to hurt him?), but it's an interesting thought. God's main concern isn't my "goodness". I find righteousness in him alone. We might come back to this topic at a later date, but I think that's all for tonight.
And this is the blog post in which I have a theological moment while listening to Britney Spears.