July 28, 2010

Image Bearers and Bildads

The past several years have been very difficult.  Anyone with little kids will understand if I say "this economy is ridiculous!"  I can't wait for God's economy under God's rule!

We have been attacked by enemies and friends, betrayed and backstabbed, taken advantage of numerous times, and...

I could probably go on, but so could you, right.

I have found that life is hard.  That sounds simple, but I know friends even in this community of bloggers that are finding that life is hard in ways they never thought it could be.

From my experiences, I wanted to share a couple thoughts to encourage others to be more Image Bearing in those times and less "Christian".

First, the world needs to see more Christians responding to Scripture and less of them trying to behave like Christians.  What I mean is this; so many successful and driven people are "giving their lives to Christ today, that the Kingdom of God is beginning to look like a major Fortune 500 company board meeting.  Instead of reading Scripture and responding to life's situations the way that Scripture says, they read books written by Christians, and then respond to life's situations the way they think a good Christian business person would, or the way a good Christian athlete should, or the way a good Christian musician ought to.  God has a purposes for telling us to do things the way He does, and it usually has to do with His glory and our growth - so ignoring it for "good" man-made models of Christian behavior is usually counter to God's purposes for us and our greatest fulfillment.  Think about how you handle your broken hearts, surprise attacks, conflict resolutions, or maybe what kind of advice you are offering to those who are going through their tough times.  The children of God need to hear what God has to say before they hear what a favorite author or preacher has to say.  Slapping God on top of what somebody else has to say first is not the best approach.

Second, we need to remember that the purpose of life is to glorify God.  People say they believe it, but, then when pressed by hard circumstances in life, they seem to show that they believe the purpose of our life is to have fellowship with God so that we can experience His love.  that is an obvious benefit of being a child of God, but it is not the purpose of life.  People who have that worldview are usually the hardest hit in life's cruel circumstances.  That worldview doesn't match up with the obvious pain coming into their life; especially if it comes from the Church.
If the person offering advice has this worldview, they usually tend to become a Bildad.

Bildad was the friend of Job who was a devout man, and someone Job allowed to be close to him in his time of despair, but his advice to Job was "tormenting, crushing, and shaming" (Job 19:2-3)  The Bildads of life unintentionally tend to indicate that life's hard times are due to a "not spiritual enough" life, or a life that would be better if "you would follow my advice".  Today we call these people "Job's comforters."

The world is hard enough to live in.  Are you being an Image Bearer or a Bildad for God or your brothers and sisters?

With you for His glory