I'm going quite a bit deeper with today's post. I've been in one of my very introspective modes lately and I've had a lot to think about.
I preface today's post by stating that I am a Christian. Now, many have a rudimentary understanding of the word "Christian" and I'd love to clarify what it means but that is a post for another time.
I'll simply start by asking the question, "How do we treat God?"
Please take a moment to really think about that.
I ask this question because I've come to the conclusion that we tend to use God as just a means to an end. I say this because I myself, have come to realize that I was doing just that in my own relationship with God. I don't believe I'm stating anything new here but I think our culture has taken this concept to new levels of the extreme.
Living in such a media saturated, consumer driven society we've begun to treat God the same way we treat a box of cereal or a new electronic device. What can this thing do for me? How can this iPad or Kindle enrich my life... make it easier? How can God give me what I want? How can He get me to where I want to go. There are doctrines and beliefs that have focused on the packaging and re-packaging of the message of the gospel to make it an "easier sell" to non-believers. Now people only come because of what the church can do for them. The Gospel is no longer about our need to be saved from our own depravity and spiritual bankruptcy. It has been mutated into a product promising health, wealth, and cultural significance. I won't use labels here because no matter what you call it, it's the same unclean, enemy born spirit doing it's work to attempt to make us spiritually impotent. Our testimonies as followers of Christ will drown in a sea of the trivial and meaningless if we don't open our eyes and see this.
How was I expressing this skewed doctrine in my own life? It was all in how God could make my freelance career successful. I made assumptions about why God guided me along this path and I've come to discover that most of my assumptions were wrong. It doesn't necessarily change the path I follow but it does explain why I've struggled with so many failures along the way. It certainly changes my focus. Treating God as a means to an end made my career something trivial and it had the related effect of causing me to treat my clients much the same way. My clients were simply a paycheck to me. I was treating these relationships as something distant, trivial and disposable... only useful to me for a season and therefore I did nothing to cultivate them.
The two greatest commandments... to love God with everything you have and to love your neighbor. I realize now who my neighbors are and that I can't love God and not love them... no matter who they are or why we met.