Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Resolve

“Hang in there.”  

“Keep on fighting.”  

“You can do it, don’t quit!”

Ever hear any of those comments, or anything similar? 

I am interested in hearing from you all on this one…

I have written two blog entries on the matter of perseverance.  Neither have been posted.  The basic just of what they say is this.

I am not good at it, I believe the western culture is bred against persevering, and I believe many of us are out of touch with what it even means.

My sickness is a lack of trusting God when I am uncomfortable. 

Where is my resolve?

I would love to say, “I won’t give up when it gets hard” but I don’t think that is really true.  I think I make the excuse that if it is difficult that is a sign that God is closing the door on that venture.  

That doesn’t seem right…

That doesn’t seem like faith…and so how does a lack of perseverance connect to faith?

As I have said, I have written two entries on this and sort of feel like a dog chasing its tail.  

So, what have you noticed?  What have you seen of perseverance in our culture (good, bad, or ugly)?  How strong can a faith without perseverance be?  I am interested in hearing from you.

3 comments:

emarkthomas said...

Oh man, excellent topic. I'll contemplate my answer a bit and then post something tomorrow or thereabouts. I've been thinking about this lately, only in different words. I think the language you used captured the idea better than I have to date. Thanks. I'll get back to you with some fleshed out thoughts.

emarkthomas said...

Okay, so I've had some time to mull over this, and I'm still nearly as uncertain as I was before, but I do have one particular thought that sticks in my mind. I think that as Christians - Western Christians specifically - we buy into some kind of hybrid Gospel/American Dream thing in which God's ultimate plan is to give us cushy, comfortable lives and back up everything we think is right. No need for us to change when, as entitled Americans with this concept of natural rights, it's God's job to change. None of that Master business, please, God. I'm looking for Genie from Aladdin. I think that cripples perseverance for us. Granted, this is a broad, sweeping generalization, and can only be true as far as any generalization can be. There are many, many exceptions... but I do think this holds true for so many of us. Me included. Ouch.

As a contrast to this - I hestitate to bring it up, but I think I should - I offer the gay rights movement in America. At the risk of percievably invalidating all I say, I'm a gay Christian. As I live out this life trying to live love well as Christ's disciple, I've met other gay people. I've learned of the history of the gay civil rights movement and watched history happen, as lately as the New York Sate marriage equality law that just went through. What I've witnessed was a community - the LGBT community - demonstrate such perseverance towards what they feel is right and good, and I think it costs them far more than it costs us Christians as we push towards our ideas of what is right with much less passion.

I also think that our perseverance and passion reflect the desire of our hearts; the state of our hearts in relation to the world and to the Living God.

Anyway, my point is this: I think that when Jesus came, his message most resonated with the outcasts who didn't fit well into the co-opted religious system of the day. People who weren't so arrogant as to say, "Mmm, thanks God. I'll call you when I need something."

My suggestion is that just maybe the hearts Jesus sought are more reflected in the secular LGBT community than the American churches.

If that's even remotely true, then that implies much for me and my Christian community. Oh yeah, I'm not exempt here. Anyway, that's what has rolled around in my head after reading your post. I hope it's even remotely helpful.

Anonymous said...

Faith has nothing to do with your resolve.

Faith is just an excuse to make a mistake and don't take responsibility for it.

just pick yourself up, straighten your back and go on with your life.

it's short enough, so just enjoy it as much as possible.