From Stocki’s website:<blockquote>Where sentimentality and reality meet is a hard place for the soul to settle. And so is the place where the stark events of this fallen world and the ideals of our following of Jesus intersect. Do we really believe what we believe or do we just respond like everyone else? I guess this was one of the reasons that Jesus warned us that following him would mean a daily taking up of our cross. This sojourn in the wake of Jesus lead, constantly clashes our feelings with the Kingdom actions that fly in the face of natural response. We die to self in order to live out the upside down kingdom that Christ blueprinted when he walked among us. This is where grace stops being a doctrine to die for and becomes a radical revolution to live for!</blockquote>On my mind right now (especially as I consider a new session in church youthwork) is the difference between talking about it and doing it. We like to sit around with our noses in books (even if the book is the Bible) and chat, maybe over coffee or while sitting in some comfy seats. How often are really eager to get out there and do it?
It’s easy for me to talk about forgiveness, and gentleness, and self-control. And then I’m driving along behind someone who feels 35 is fast enough for the motorway, or a cyclist who doesn’t think it’s necessary to check behind them for cars before they pulled out around a parked Landrover (ever consider why the Cycling Proficiency courses we all did at school dubbed that glance the ‘Lifesaver’?). Then any thought of gentleness goes right out the window. Let me tell you, I can yell and give nasty stares and wave my arms around with the best of them.
What about the challenge to take what we say about our faith and actually do it? How often do we compartmentalize life, so that going to church and giving to charity and helping out at the youth group satisfies the Christian bit, and everything else carries on as normal (sure, we’ll be nice to people in the little things, but still make sure we look out for ourselves all the while).