I am convinced…

I’m convinced being generous is a better way to live.

I’m convinced forgiving people and not carrying around bitterness is a better way to live.

I’m convinced having compassion is a better way to live.

I’m convinced pursuing peace in every situation is a better way to live.

I’m convinced listening to the wisdom of others is a better way to live.

I’m convinced being honest with people is a better way to live.

This way of thinking isn’t weird or strange; it is simply acknowledging that everybody follows somebody, and I’m trying to follow Jesus.

—Rob Bell, in Velvet Elvis

 

Brokenness, The Gospel, and the Kingdom.

My friend Jake Kaufman was written another outstanding post. There are a lot of pretty stellar things going on over there. You should check it out.

There is something particularly powerful about this post, called “When Faith Meets Reality.” As someone involved in theological academic studies, and as someone who spends way too much time in my office, there is a certain difficultly in taking the ideas and notions of faith and allowing them to intersect with the messiness of life.

I can talk a good game about passion, about laying our lives down for the sake of God’s kingdom and God’s mission. My twitter bio even says “I’m one of those crazy people who actually think Jesus meant the things he said.” And I do. I do believe Jesus meant the things he said. That no one can follow him without taking up a cross. That the call to salvation is a call to wholeness, peace, and Kingdom-oriented passion for justice & mercy & holiness. That we ought to love our neighbors, our enemies, and not be surprised when they resist us.

But you couldn’t tell it by my life.

Jake writes “‎It’s not that the teachings of Jesus are offensive or questionable to me; it’s that they are inconvenient to my routine.”

Yes. Inconvienent. Inconvenient indeed…

I have this intellectual notion that the Gospel & the Kingdom are inherently about brokenness. I would even say they are about embracing brokeness. But that idea is intellectually bound for me. It is stuck in my head, unable to make its way to my heart. Because here’s a shocking reality: messiness, brokenness, it’s inconvenient. Actually, it sucks.

But what we’ve got to realize – what I’ve got to realize – is that we are all broken. When we come to accept that we don’t have a clue how to make something of our lives, that we are utterly incapable of living a perfectly put together life on our own, we are in just the place we need to be to accept that call of God. God calls us into his Kingdom, where God takes our brokenness and the brokenness of the world and renews, restores, and redeems it for something beautiful.

 

“I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing, it’s another

Caught up in words, tangled in lies.

But you are a Savior, and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful”

—All Sons & Daughters, Brokenness Aside