Between the Ends: May 3, 2016


I had two experiences as a soldier in the late 70’s that have shaped my understanding of human nature these many years since. Throughout the 7 weeks of our basic training, we were instructed in Judo (martial arts self defense) as a part of hand-to-hand combat instruction. I will never forget the drill sergeant’s final words that day, “Men,” he said, “you have learned exactly enough to kill yourselves.” The second lesson also occurred in the military, this time as we were preparing to deploy to Germany for a readiness exercise. Having completed a “short course” in German, we ready… only to discover we were asking the locals,”Who is the toilet,” rather than “Where is the toilet.”

What does this have to do with you? Plenty! Truth is, we can become very proficient at knowing the “language” of Christianity without every knowing the righteousness associated with a life in pursuit of God’s holiness (I Thess. 4). We learn just enough to become dangerous– able to fool ourselves and others into believing that we are in a right relationship with God. After all, no-one knew the finer points of the law better than the Pharisees, and yet I find it almost unimaginable that these same leaders were willing to prostitute themselves (or at least one volunteer) by committing fornication, if only they could trap the Lord Jesus– and all because they could not conquer their own pride. 

Let’s not fool ourselves; either about the depths to which the human heart can sink, the distance we can find ourselves from Christ, or even our perception of the slack hand of God’s judgment to deal with our wretched condition. Not convinced… read Genesis 6.
By the way, the Teens are working on a mission statement for their lives. Have you tried writing one yet? What should be the primary goals for our Christian life?