There stands in my room, an old relic that has not seen light, or been touched in years. It is my trombone from High School. And about all it’s good for these days is collecting dust, which I occasionally clean off. I loved playing; music had brought joy to my life. It still does, but I don’t make much music these days, let alone on my trombone. Seeing it the other day made me sad, for many reasons, but one came to mind more than others. If it could speak, I’m sure it would like to be played again, and yes it sits in a corner without the chance to fullfill its purpose any longer.
The sad thing about this realization, is that it brought some thing else to mind. The lack of use of our faith gets in the lives of Christians. I don’t mean believing in God or doing the normal things Christians do, but the lack of wonder, of kindness, of love, of miracles, and more.
When Jesus gave us what we call “The Great Comission” (Matthew 28:19-20) I imagine that he wanted us to be able to live it out daily. In fact, a more accurate translation would “As you go into the world” not “Go into the world.” Many Christians don’t fit that bill, instead their faith is excercised in a certain location, the “church building.” They have become pew sitters, bench warmers, and have become comfortable waiting on the sidelines for someone else to accomplish The Great Commission.
The Christian life was meant to be active, moving, living, at times dangerous, and always interesting. Yet Christians seem to be some of the most boring people around. The ones known for not having fun parties, which doesn’t make sense since Jesus always seemed to be partying with people! Let’s look at what the Bible says:
“But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].” James 1:22 AMP
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26 NIV
(Just to save time, go read the book of James, it has a lot to say on this subject!)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” 1 Timothy 6:18 NIV
And these are just a few! We cannot let our faith gather dust like old trophies, unused treadmills, instruments, and even Bibles. Faith that gathers dust, becomes more tradition than a way of life. It becomes a going through the motions, without any passion. It becomes legalistic and devoid of love, and everything that made it shine in the first place. There was once someone I met that was like this. It was a sad thing to see, they came to church on their terms, not God’s and life was bleak. Every time they spoke it was about what was wrong in the world. When someone sat in “their spot” at church, they would leave. Much like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. If they had an opportunity to share their testimony or sing a song, it was all about them, and they had to do it their way and no one could tell them otherwise, they had to have the spotlight. This is a true picture of what we look like when our faith is dusty, a faith that has become a ghost of its former self. Their name and location is withheld to protect their identity, but really it could be any one of us.
Let us not become that. It’s time to open up the Word of God and live out the faith that Jesus gave so much for us to have. Let us fulfill the purpose that God made us for, to live life and to change the world around us.