Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blessings All the Way...

I see that most of the believers in Christ are plagued with the blessings syndrome. One thing which takes me off the hook is a message on "Blessings". Is living in Christ...centered only around blessings? Isn't life much more than that?

I always wished that I heard sermons on living righteous, Christ like maturity and poise, the true meaning of charity (selfless giving to the really needy), sacrifice, internal change and stuff like that. I have recently seen and heard of people not in the Lord indulging in selfless charity and sacrificial living and have wondered "Shouldn't this be more of an attribute of those who claim themselves to be in Christ?" Where are we really heading to...?

Either we will hear/find messages on blessings or it will be on prophecies. And these prophesies are mostly on catastrophic or promising events or unrealistically glorious future.People plagued with blessings syndrome are hooked onto the receiving mode and not the giving mode. But I am sure most of us know that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

Again I see that there is a misconception among people when it comes to giving. Giving is seen merely in terms of monetary aspect. I have seen people giving more towards already flourishing ministries and churches than to the genuinely needy.

The next thing people usually think after blessings is either good works or evangelism. Good works is seen as an reciprocal thing we need to do for the blessings we receive. I hope we are not intending to indulge in a barter system with God. Good works is seldom seen as a natural trait  of a human being (especially Christ's followers, the best example being people during the time of Acts). It has to come naturally in everyday aspect of life.

In my perception first we need to come out of the blessings syndrome. Second,  the context of giving selflessly, good works and evangelism needs more clarity. Giving need not always be in monetary terms. Giving can be in terms of time, a listening ear, displaying empathy and a little compassion  to the socially disadvantaged groups (people suffering from mental disorders/illness, transgender group, victims of abuse, HIV/AIDS sufferers etc).

Good works and charity can be displayed by reaching out to the totally disadvantaged groups in the society or even by showing a genuine care and give a listening ear to those who are hurt or neglected. And again I really don't believe in jumping into an evangelical mode when it comes to giving time to people. It is more than enough if we can be a good listener, show love, acceptance and respect and be non-judgmental.

When it comes to sharing the gospel, I believe that people should be drawn to know the Lord by the life that I live, my character, speech, behavior, personality, attitude, perception, etc. People should be able to see in me a difference, and be curious to find the reason behind it. One thing I am very clear about is that unless my life and I as a human being cannot portray Christ likeness, no one is going to be impacted by the gospel I preach.

Our life is an open book which people are able to read silently. Each individual's  character, attitude, perception, actions and deeds are being noticed, observed and understood by our verbal and non-verbal communications, decisions and choices made (including personal). Pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, selfishness, manipulations, deception, playing double games, politics, bragging, backbiting, gossip and slandering are quite naturally noticable and these traits cannot be masked easily. Genuineness is something noticeable and so is facade.

If people see that we are good preachers but do not practice what we preach, then we are bad examples of the gospel we preach. And so the gospel will become void for people who see us. The gospel has never been or is never void but can been made so by those who preach without practicing it. Our planet is filled with a vast majority of people who are good preachers but not practitioners of the gospel.

Without Christ-likeness it is impossible to preach the gospel and if people continue to preach the gospel without Christ-likeness, I believe it might only be ruining His name instead of glorifying it...I only hope that people would stop using blessings as a bait to bring people to Christ...and more than preaching the gospel, it is living the gospel which should top the priority list of those who claim to follow Him...

Or should I say that the 'Body of Christ' which should actually be representing the Master be flooded with preachers, teachers, and believers who will not be plagued with Blessings or Evangelism Syndrome but who are ready to clean up the Body of Christ uncompromisingly?...In my perception it is not the world that needs the Savior, but the 'Body of Christ' which needs a Savior, so that we don't misrepresent the gospel that is supposed to be saving the world...