May 11, 2011

A Place for Weakness - Chapter 2

Coolness has always eluded me.

As a girl, I lacked the courage and swagger that define cool. As an adult, I'm still not cool. Just ask my daughter.

I thought I was above wanting to be cool, until I read Chapter 2 of A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering.

Michael Horton's words, and the truth behind them, sting. 
...we seem obsessed at times with convincing the world that we are cool, which especially in this culture means healthy, good-looking, prosperous, and, even better, famous. Not only can one remain cool in Christ; it is this personal relationship with Jesus that, far from calling us to die, gives us that little bit extra to "be all that we can be". (p. 23)
What has happened to the true gospel, the gospel for losers? Instead, Horton says, we are leaning toward the religion of "healthy-mindedness, which replaces sin with sadness as the real enemy of human nature. The modern evangelicals, beaming and healthy successes in the communications industry, as exemplars of that religion." (p. 25).

We want the best, purpose-filled life we can have...and we want it now.

But is this the life Jesus calls us to?

The cross-bearing, sacrificial life is not found in the pursuit of happiness or feeling good. The Jesus that is offered by so many today bears little resemblance to the One who promised blessing in persecution (Matthew 5:10-11) and proclaimed that the world would hate us (John 15:17-19).

Buying into this modern version of Jesus, we've settled for less. The "irony of our lives is that we demand the ephemeral, momentary glories of this fading age, too easily amused and seduced by the trivial, when ultimate joy is held out to us." (p. 27) 

This chapter pricked my heart. I'm tired of worshiping a god of my own making. I'm worn out by the trivial and momentary.

It's time to quit pretending to be cool and accept my true identy...

A loser who needs Jesus.

Visit Elizabeth to see what others are saying about Chapter Two of this great book!


Lisa notes... said...

“I’m still not cool. Just ask my daughter.”

Not a fair one to ask. Ha.

You captured the essence of this chapter well, Melissa. And yeah, it does sting. It’s easy to want everything good and easy and fun. And NOW.

And it’s hard to understand that getting those things would be settling for LESS. But such is the gospel. True rest is found, as you put it, when we “accept [our] true identity...a loser who needs Jesus.”

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,

(I sent a comment yesterday, but not sure where it went:)

Thanks for your comments on the book discussion. I love your honesty here. God can work with that!

Glad this book is speaking to you. It's a timely work, that's for sure.


Lisa Spence said...

Good stuff. Thinking I need to add (yet) another book to my (ever growing) amazon wishlist!