That Book Punched Me in the Face!

Ride the Crazy Train

Image credit: Derek Giovanni, flickr

Ever had the words of the Bible leap off the page and throttle you?

In a good way, of course.

You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.

Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

Galatians 3:1-4 MSG

I read those words and I realized I did it again. I believed the myth I was brainwashed with past memory ago: that I’m defined by what I do, how well I do, what other people think of what I do. Just like those crazy Galatians.

I’m exploring changing careers right now and it really scares me, honestly. I have to learn a lot of new things and in my mind I like learning, but let’s face it, actually I hate it. Because when you’re learning to balance, you fall over and skin your knees a bunch of times, and you feel like an idiot. I prefer already having learned things, being past the point where people point and laugh at me, thank you very much.

But in reality, who is really pointing and laughing? Isn’t it at least mostly in my head? And how did it get in there anyway? Why do I care so much, still, about what other people think?

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10 NIV

If I piled up every worst-case scenario, every imagined insult I can reckon, would they outweigh the value Christ puts on me? If life made me down-in-the-dirt humble, wouldn’t he still see me as beautiful? Didn’t he spill his own blood for love of me? What am I thinking, cheapening that?

When I let Jesus into my heart, I said, “Yes! Break that yoke I’ve struggled against so long, this burden I’ve lugged around of never being good enough. You’re the good one. You said I could quit trying so hard and just follow you… so I will.”

What am I doing picking up that rock again, putting the yoke back on? Why did I let fear back in when the love of God should have cast it out? Did someone put a spell on me? Thank God I came back to my senses!

The Bible seems like a crazy book sometimes, but sometimes I need it to call me on my crazy. I need that slap in the face, that wake-up call to what really matters. And that’s why I keep reading, because sometimes the words cut me to the heart and I realize they’re alive, and they want me to really live too.