Getting Unstuck

     Computers are either the most useful pieces of technology ever invented or “the biggest piece of crap in the world”! What makes the difference?

It all depends on what day you walk into my office.

     Common ground?

     I don’t know if you’ve ever had a computer “lock up” on you. But, if you’re breathing in 2011, chances are pretty good that you’ve sat there in front of the screen… just… waiting… forrrrr… ANyThINNNNGG to happen!!! The trick, I was told, when this happens, is to hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete to interrupt the program that’s “not responding” and get yourself out of whatever loop has the computer stuck in an endless cycle.

     Lately, I’ve had more than one conversation about something with guys I’m meeting with and Cristine’s brought up the same topic at our staff meetings – “people are getting stuck in conflict and can’t seem to get out”. Someone’s been rude, been overbearing, been demanding, been thoughtless and the other person is refusing to let them back in before they “apologize first”!

     One of the most difficult spirits to overcome in the Christian walk is the spirit of entitlement – “you owe me an apology” it’s rooted in pride, chief of all sins. But, when we look at scripture, we see that God is the only one who can lay claim to someone owing an apology, yet He gave us Jesus – slain on the cross, punished for our junk, sacrificed as lamb to end all sacrifices. One of my favorite quotes from Louie Giglio was this: “God owes us nothing… but judgment.”

     Alright, I didn’t like it when I first heard it. But, it keeps things in perspective. “…Christ died for the ungodly… While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.6b,8b)” Last week, my friend, Ron shared with a bunch of guys a letter that Jesus dictated to John the Baptist in the book of Revelation. 90 years after his death, they were already off track. Not completely, though, just enough. He commends them for the things they were doing right – calling out the phonies who came in God’s name, working hard, persevering, etc.

“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (Rev. 2.4)”

If you can’t say “amen”, you’d better say “ouch”!

Discipleship at Work

     The point is, Jesus gives them a very scathing reminder that it’s easy to get wrapped up in a lot of Christian activity and miss Christ. No wonder the world looks at us as hypocrites – we’re starting with Christ and following through with self! This week, I’ve been able to talk to a number of guys about loving their wives as Christ loved the church, considering others better than themselves, etc., all through the lens of “getting unstuck”. God didn’t need to make the first move when it came to reconciling us to Himself. Yet, He did. He sent Jesus to a messed up, prideful, sinful world and gave Him what we deserved – judgment – and gave us what Jesus deserved: forgiveness and sonship.

     If you and I didn’t deserve someone taking the first step, but got it anyway, who are we to demand it from others?!

     As we’ve talked in discipleship this week, a number of the guys have made a resolve to do what Jesus suggests in the next line of Revelation –

  1. Remember – who you are and what a mess I brought you out of
  2. Repent – turn away from the tendency to worship your agenda and to do list over the Creator of all agendas and all there is to do
  3. Return – to the work you used to do by living by the Spirit (see Romans, chapter 8 – the whole thing.)

Repeat after me – “remember, repent, return”. “Remember, repent, return”. “Ctrl – Alt – Delete.”

Class dismissed.

in Christ,

AP

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