Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you need someone to look down into your soul and call you out on something that’s cold and dark in there? Most of the time you don’t even know you need it. You just find yourself in the middle of a conversation, and then BAM! There it is. You’re cold dark hardened heart on display for someone to see.
Well, I had that conversation today.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired.
Maybe I’m just disallusioned.
Or potentially, I’ve just let negative thoughts in my head for far too long.
Well, today I’m letting it go.
The beginning of the day started normal. I had a leadership team meeting with my staff here at KIVU. I lead our morning devotion. We prayed. And then we got on with the business of the day at hand.
I thought I was in a good place.
I felt spiritual.
I patted myself on the back for leading my team in a good way.
And then I got the call.
And here it comes
A friend of mine who shall remain nameless here, called out of the blue. He’s been real busy, and we’ve been playing phone tag for a while. So when I saw his name pop up on my phone, I thought, I need to get this for sure
“Hey, how are you?” I asked as I answered the phone
“What are you doing answering your cell phone?” He responded “You’re supposed to be leading all those teenagers.”
“Well, I was getting ready to go out and be in the mix, but I saw your name and knew I needed to catch you.”
We shared some nuances and surface level catching up, and then he asked, “So how are you REALLY DOING?”
And I unloaded.
Do you ever catch yourself just needing to VENT sometimes? I guess I’ve had this pent up stuff in my soul for a while, and I just needed someone who I thought would be on my team to hear it and confirm it.
“I just feel like I’m pushing a boulder uphill. And the pressure I’m feeling is coming from my own tribe. It’s the Christians I find myself getting more and more frustrated with as they keep doing the same old stuff, and I feel like I have to clean up the mess.”
Oh my gosh. Did I just say that outloud.
I won’t recall the entire conversation, but the short of it is…
I grew up in a pretty legalistic Christian Environment
I went to a Baptist High School
I went to a Christian College
I went to a Seminary
And as I try to push the boundaries to allow for people to explore God in a new fresh way, all those people from where I came call and give me a hard time.
I’ve been called Universalist.
I’ve been called Heretical.
I’ve been called Emergent (Whatever that means)
So I find myself trying to defend my actions to My OWN PEOPLE.
And all the while teenagers from around the world are exploring what it means to have a real relationships with Jesus as a result of our work here in Colorado and around the world.
Boys are recognizing their addiction with Pornography and getting healthy.
Girls are dealing with self image issues, and seeing themselves as valuable before God.
Parents are coming together and healing their marriages.
People are finding what it means to live as a whole person under the umbrella of a Loving God who wants us to partner with Him here on earth.
And the professional Christians keep nagging, and I’m Tired of It.
My friend commented, “Ok, you have to stop thinking that.”
“Your heart is hard and you need to just stop. Your tribe of Christians, where you come from, are all trying to figure out how to do the same things. They’re heart is good and clean. They want people to walk with God as much as you do. You need to know how to give the same grace you give to your Muslim friends, your atheist friends, and your buddhist friends.” He just kept on going.
It was like God Himself was speaking through the phone.
He was right.
I’ve let the fray dictate my own attitude.
I’ve let my own hurt feelings see “my tribe” as less than worthy of grace, rather than people who are all trying to fit under the great umbrella of God.
I’ve let people move my target of honesty and humility and spent time working on my clever arguments to disarm them.
“ISIS in Iraq is taking the same feelings you are feeling to the extreme. They’re playing it out right now because they’re heart is hard for their own people. Can you see that?” He challenged. “Don’t be a Christian ISIS. You’ll become a dark person, and I won’t let you go there.”
Time to Change
As I hung up the phone, I just sat in disbelief. He was right. I was wrong. I needed to apologize to all my friends who I’ve written off as traditionalists and inaffective, and with grace understand we’re all under the same umbrella of God.
So here I go, trying to fix my cold, dark, hardened heart. Instead of negative, I’m opening my soul to be one that can listen well to the movements God is working in all over the world.
It’s not easy to go through something like that.
A Big Healthy Dose of Humility crushes down on top of you and you can feel the pressure of being wrong.
So to my friends, I’m sorry for being THAT guy. I’m committed to listening to the teachings of Jesus and repenting for the hardness of my heart. I’m confident God will restore the relationships He wants to restore, and I’m so THANKFUL for my friend willing to call me out on my own stuff.
If you don’t have someone like that in your life, YOU NEED ONE. In our own world’s I know you have this crazy idea that you’re the only right one and we justify all we think is absolute and the only way. But maybe a healthy dose of humility can bring us to the place God can work most effectivly. At least I think that way sometimes.
So there’s my day.