I always want to know when I’m wrong. Really. I’m aware I’m never the smartest guy in the room. I want to remain teachable. Being wrong is not the end of the world. I want to be open to a thought I’ve never had, even if it threatens what I’ve always known. Even if we disagree in the end, I want to have considered every possibility before landing on solid ground.
If there’s a better way or some angle I’m not seeing, I’d like to know. If even one percent of what we’re saying can help someone see a little further, it’s worth saying and worth learning. There’s no pride or joy in holding onto an idea just because “we’ve always done it that way.” Some convictions are lifelong and eternal, but there’s so much that is fluid and flexible.
I hope we can give someone else the chance to change their mind, too. No one gets it right every time, and almost never the first time. And I hope we can respect those who remain firm. There’s a difference between rigidness and resolve. One is stubbornness but the other is integrity. One is a wall that must be broken, and the other is a seed that must be nurtured.
I default to doubt very easily. There are entire seasons I’m not sure He’s real and I’m ready to throw the Bible in the trash. Maybe that’s too candid, but I look at our “Bible heroes,” and they often skated the edge, too. Their victories were interspersed with so many valleys.
But you know, I keep serving anyway. I keep acting like God exists. I keep loving people. I keep obeying His commands, as far-away as they feel. I force myself into the church community. I put my tiny little shred of faith into His Son. I pray, even if it’s a few words at night. I read Scripture, my heavy head on a pillow as the app shines its tiny little screen into the darkness. And most days, that meager little mustard-seed-faith is just enough.
It sounds like legalism, but effort is not legalism. It’s only legalistic to presume that God’s law can save, which leads to self-righteousness. I don’t believe merely following God’s law will save me. I believe following His law will lead me back to the heart who made me. As C.S. Lewis said, I’m trying to trace the sunbeam back to the sun. The days I succeed, I praise God. The days I fail, which are many, I continue on by the bare skin of my teeth.
I’m learning this is okay. I’m learning we are works in progress looking towards the work finished, Jesus.
— J.S. from What The Church Won’t Talk About