Most devout Christians consider themselves to spiritually "have it together." Even some Christians who do not claim to be devout are confident they "accurately know what it means spiritually to 'have it together.'"

Certainly we do! If a devout Christian realized that he or she did not "have it together," he or she would change. A devout Christian makes necessary adjustments to assure he or she "has it together." If I know I need to make spiritual adjustments and refuse to make those adjustments, how can I be honest about being devout?

That is equally true of the Christian who is convinced, "I know what spiritually 'having it together' is." His or her "knowing" depends on his or her being honest. If I know what spiritually "having it together" is, my knowledge must be founded on honesty. How can I be honest in my knowledge if I willingly cling to ignorance?

Does any devout Christian believe his or her spiritual understanding is better than God the Father's? Or the Lord Jesus Christ's? Or the Spirit's? Does the Christian who is confident, "I know 'spiritual togetherness,'" believe his or her understanding is superior to that of God the Father's? Or the Lord Jesus Christ's? Or the Spirit's?

A challenge: (1) observantly scan through the gospels. (2) Note the person and the occasion each time Jesus forgave someone of his or her sins. (3) Ask yourself this question: "Do I forgive the same kind of person in similar situations?" (4) Give yourself an honest answer.

Are God the Father, Jesus Christ the Lord, and the Spirit more forgiving than I am? More compassionate? More merciful? More grace oriented? More encouraging? More hope centered? More reassuring? More willing to allow those who stumble to begin again?

Who has the best understanding of "having it together" spiritually? The Lord who died for me? The Father Who resurrected His son from the tomb? The Spirit who transforms human groans into prayers uttered in God's language? Or me?

On matters of eternal generosity, who is the most generous? God or me?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 17 February 2002

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