I don’t like platitudes. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Bleh. Thanks, Nietzsche. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” sounds…circuitous. “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”. Lots of naked people out there…
I’m having a tough time with Christian platitudes lately. I’ve never been fond if “God said it, I believe it, that settles it!” It doesn’t. Every Christian needs to wrestle with the tough issues, and if they’re lucky, will figure that out sooner rather than later. We must be able to give answers to a hurting people. I’ve never liked “What Would Jesus Do?” Because it implies Jesus will instantly jump out of our proverbial pockets and handle this tough issue for us, like a mini MacGyver. No, Jesus lives “in” us. We walk it out.
My new least favorite? “If God is not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all?”
I don’t know who said this originally. I mean no offense to the last person who I heard say it. I’ve heard it several times before and always adhered to it. And in principle, it seems like a fine idea. Yet, is that what we believe? Surrender is a good thing. As Christians, we must be doing that daily. Which if us is completely, totally sure we are sold out to Jesus, holding nothing back? Don’t we keep finding things we need to forgive people for? Aren’t we a work in progress, traveling this sojourner’s path? Granted, only God is infinite. But we are mysterious to ourselves and to each other. We aren’t omniscient (despite my telling Zac years ago I had eyes in the back of my head). We simply can’t see all the parts of us that God can see. We hide. We have blind spots. We are broken and born into iniquity. As Paul says, “Now we see through a mirror, dimly; then we shall see Him face to face.” Or the version my fingers wanted to type: “Now we see through a mirror, dimply”…Not quite the same, but you get the idea.
That being said, we can “know” if we’re holding something back. We know if we’re doing our own thing in certain areas. Our consciences warn us, continually, about our sin and the devil pokes us about guilt. If we seek truth, we will find it. The saying is right on that score.
I do believe if we ask God to “search us and know us”, He will answer. He will reveal any secret places. But let’s be careful about picking up condemnation unnecessarily. I only say this because I am good at self-flagellation. I can pick up self-loathing quicker than black pants with cat hair. I know there must be others in my ‘hood! What do we need to get to heaven? Believe in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross, confess our sins and let Him be Lord. I submit our trust in Him takes a lifetime to build. Platitudes can point us in the right direction. But they are not the complete answer. Surrender is a continual process. We let go of one area -or several – and the Lord catches us. Then, we release another. He is ever patient with us, wooing us as a bridegroom a reluctant, yet infinitely precious bride.