"Do we call people to a moral life or to follow Christ?" This was one of the questions asked of us at a conference last weekend. It caused me to pause. Granted, following Christ can lead to a more moral life, but many times we are calling people to "clean up" and describing this as the Christian life rather than calling them to follow Christ and allow Him to do the transforming.
I had to ask myself the question, "How have I "cleaned up" my act for the sake of looking put together?" Again, nothing wrong with being disciplined, but if that discipline does not come from Christ, then it is just our own cleaning up. When discipline comes from something other than Christ that it is a mere patch job, not a transformation from the inside out. This is what I was challenged by. What patch jobs have I done on my life, what patch jobs have you done and what patch jobs do we require of others?
When we "clean up" or perform a patch job I believe there is something we are trying to avoid. I believe we are trying to avoid our own brokenness. We do not want to come face to face with our own brokenness, because when we do, it is not pretty, it is painful to heal and we have no power - Jesus does. When we ask people to "clean up" we are asking them to ignore their brokenness, to deny the healing and transforming hand of God and to take control of their lives.
This is radically opposite to what Jesus requires of us as He called the Pharisees, the supposedly religious ones, whitewashed tombs.
Psalm 51:16-17 says,
"You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
If this is true, then why do we believe that God is pleased in our moralizing and patch jobs? If we ignore the fact that we are broken and the fact that others are broken, then where does God do His redeeming work?
Brokenness is not an easy thing. It is not easy to see, to process through or to heal from. Brokenness knocks you to the ground and you cannot get up. Brokenness requires that you depend on a Savior and He promises to be there.
How can you begin to see the brokenness in your life? How can I begin to see the brokenness in my life? How can you allow others to see it in their lives? What message will you take to the world? Will you see their brokenness and show them the Savior or hand them a cleaning kit?