Grow up

Many people complain about not being fed spiritually.  They say that the pastor (priest, Rabbi, the teacher, etc.) is not giving them what they need to thrive spiritually.  They waft from one place to another always looking for that elusive spiritually filled feeling.  They even stop attending anywhere because – “you do not need to be in a group to be a believer.” (It does not matter what faith it is really.)

There are just a few problems with this thinking though.  The problems lead us back to only one conclusion every time people are speaking them from their mouths.  The only person, or deity, that they really worship or adore is themselves.  They have created a world and spiritual view that makes no demands upon them in the ways that they act and participate and is solely focused on ensuring their spiritual comfort and ease.  In short, they make themselves God and that they are here to consume religious and spiritual devotion rather than exhibit religious and spiritual devotion – and when it does not suit their taste buds, or cannot be a gourmet meal without them getting out of their comfort zones they reject it and stop picking up their spiritual fork to eat and blame someone else that they are a bit famished when they just sat there like a 2 year old refusing to eat their peas because they do not want peas tonight.

If you think that is harsh, try the harsh reality that those who separate themselves almost always do it because they are not getting their way… that is true with 2 year olds, 82 year olds and every one in between.  The added part of that is that the Spirit does not leave with you when you take your selfish little self off to another place… because you will be not happy there in a few weeks or months. (Yes, that is true – ask any pastor or leader and you will find out that the same people who are unhappy here were unhappy somewhere else and it is all about things being done the way they want them.)

With that in mind, remember God is not for sale, and is not interested in your childish whims.  God is about growing strong, responsible, sustainable faith in us.  That means you do not get to be unconcerned about the needs of those around you.  That means that God stays where the gathering of believers is, not where a selfish, self-centered, prodigal runs off into a foreign land because they did not like the way things were – even though they were getting far more than they needed.

Next time you want to suckle at the bottle of spiritual milk rather than graduate to a spiritual fork, and eventually wrench to make the body of believers better – remember God is not going with you.  God will stand and wait for you to return, but will not go searching for you – you left on your own and God will expect you to return on your own, and when you do you will find a wide and gracious welcome.

Blessings,

Pastor Greg

 

 

Also from Pastor Greg:

Keep it Simple

 

 

Special thanks to Deb Clark who suggested "Faith Facts." We're still brainstorming a name for Pastor Greg's column. Do you have any ideas?  If so, send 'em here: editor@outandaboutnashville.com 

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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