God’s Easy Guide To A Harmonious World, Or Pulling Teeth

Today I’m bringing the heat – unleashing a mind blowing truth. Monday I talked about being afraid to take risks for fear of academic rebukes. Well – screw it…

God’s ways are better than our ways.

Stunning, I know.

You’d think with all of the amazing technology we have we’d be able to create super foods that jam all of the nutrients a body needs to excel from every food group into some crazy concoction so we’d all just be insanely healthy. Yet, it really doesn’t get much healthier than the food that pops out of the ground. Every doctor recommends fruits and vegetables – every day. Processed food is far worse than the food that was created by God in the beginning. We haven’t improved on food – we’ve only contributed lackluster creations.

Forgiveness. We all know how the blow-for-blow system works. Each hit gets bigger and bigger, and revenge seems so sweet though it never ends the feud. It never satisfied both sides – in fact it only increases the appetite.

Not only that but forgiveness frees up the knot in our shoulders and sets us free. The emotions held hostage by that person’s wrong manifest themselves in a thousand unhealthy ways – so letting it go is letting to yourself go into a wide open world. Forgiveness is a better way to live.

Serving one another is the only way the world will truly work, in my opinion. When you get everyone only looking out for their own interest and doing everything they can to further themselves, then you get the manipulation, cold-heartedness and chaos we have today. We can’t all win at once. Someone has to lie down or carry their own cross – dying to one another yet again is the best way to live. It’s the only way to a harmonious, heavenly world.

So if God’s ways are the best ways – far better than what we’ve come up – why are we even having this discussion? It’s because we don’t like to follow them! It’s because God’s ways – of forgiveness, of servitude, all require compromise and sacrifice. We don’t get to eat the tastiest things, we don’t get to take justice into our own hands, we don’t get to do whatever we want.

So life in God’s world is an exercise in taking the road less traveled – dare I say it is the narrow path. But here’s the thing – knowing God’s ways are better does not leave us only wanting to do those – we almost always have the impulse to do the opposite, to do the things that lead to bad results. Apparently knowing is only half the battle.

What are other ways of God are better than ours? Why do you think we struggle to do the things we know are better and so easily do the things we know are unhealthy and harmful?

Note: I will be out of town next week on a family surfing trip to the Oregon coast. So stoked! Since my attention will be averted I will be posting “b-sides;” the posts I’ve written but have just been sitting in my drafts folder because they aren’t prime. Every band writes songs that just aren’t worthy of putting on their polished record – yet they may not be worth totally tossing out either. So if you need a break from me, may I suggest next week.

This entry was posted in Christians Are Redeemed Yet So Very, Very Fallen. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to God’s Easy Guide To A Harmonious World, Or Pulling Teeth

  1. I am with you Charlie. Jesus talks about taking up a cross so we do crazy, silly stuff like walking down main street with a piece of wood on our back. He was talking about dying to ourselves, putting others needs or interests before our own. Dying to ourselves sucks and so we don’t do it. We just don’t get it. Thanks for the reminder.

    • I constantly return to the phrase that humans are like water and we take the path of least resistance. We hate pain and discomfort even though we know it
      is the only way to really gain – yet we still avoid it at all costs.

  2. David says:

    I am not into God’s ways and our ways. It’s a religious path that goes to no where. For every do and don’t in the Bible, there is a perfect time to put them into practice. But we must hear from God to know when, and which one. I cold blow all my money feeding the poor when God wants me to invest in a missionary trip to Africa. The idea that we have do and don’t rules denies two important aspects of Christianity, hearing God, and knowing God.

    If we know Him, we will want to please him. If we are trying to do the rules for the wrong reasons, it is still sin.

    Getting into the Spirit requires knowing the Spirit. When we know God intimately, we hear his voice as we go about our day. He will let us know the path. We get into trouble when we either ignore God, or simply act religiously.Those that walk in the Spirit are far less likely to get off the path!

    Enjoy your vacation, Charlie.

    • a good reminder David. I am so trained to go into religious mode and follow do’s and don’ts. I still contend your next book will be all about hearing from God, and of course, doing it.

      • David says:

        My next book is out for proofreading, and then onto to publishers. It is 75 stories about me an my Jesus.

        I don’t think I am ready to teach on hearing God and doing it, but I am getting close.

        Happy surfing!

  3. Carla says:

    I think Romans 7 basically sums up what you are saying and explains why when we know what is right, we choose the wrong way. Paul explains that The Law was created to combat our flesh, our natural desire to sin. Of course, The Law couldn’t fulfill this task completely. Paul goes on to explain the law of the flesh and the law of the Spirit. We are all born with a sin nature- but in Romans 1 Paul tells we are also all born with an innate knowledge of God in us- so we basically come into this world with a war waging inside of us. In Romans 7 Paul goes on to explain the impossibility of fighting our own carnality in our own power. He finishes up the chapter with the source of our salvation and transformation. “24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

    Of course, Paul explains this a lot better than I can. But knowing what is right, simply isn’t good enough. Putting forth our own efforts will always end in failure eventually- but surrendering to the will of Christ and being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit will lead to true transformation. But I think you hinted at this, we must dye to our selfish ways and surrender to Jesus on a daily basis (sometimes on an hourly basis). If it is not a continual process we go back to just knowing with no ability to do.

    • knowing what is right isn’t enough – we’ll always find a way around it. Because what’s right isn’t necessarily what’s fun. Of course the alternative to what’s right usually ends up poorly, yet somehow we dive in anyway. I was taught a very magical version of Christianity so it was terrible news when I learned God didn’t just heal me forever and ever upon conversion and that I’d have to instead spend my days dying to myself.

      • Carla says:

        Yea, its really disappointing to find out that dying to self doesn’t happen in a *Poof* BAM! and we are transformed into a magically perfect person. Bummer, we have to actually put our blood and sweat into this thing.

        I think its just another reason we need to be more loving and accepting of others, because we are all striving and struggling to be less of ourselves and more of Christ. Without the magic wand. 😉

  4. Jeff says:

    Created sick and commanded to be well. It is a bit of a dilemma for us sinners.

  5. Larry Hughes says:

    I don’t know what to make of this. Over the last few years I professed to being a follower of Christ so I thought I was safe in my Christianity. What I should have been doing was letting Christ lead me as a follower. When I changed my priorities and direction was when I found a deeper connection with God and heard more from Him.

  6. Larry Hughes says:

    BTW Charlie:

    Enjoy your surfing trip and do a hang ten for me. You needed a break.

  7. Amy says:

    My good friend said it the best at Bible study the other night. She works with 2 year-olds at a daycare all day. She said that she tells them not to dance on the table because they’ll fall and get hurt. Of course, they do the opposite, fall, and start crying. Then she said something that hit me, “They come running to me for comfort when they were running away from me only moments before.” I thought, man, that is SO God and me.

    I also like what Jeff said.

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