Friday, October 19, 2007

Achieving Holiness

“I can only do what I see the Father doing” - Jesus
“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a half a pound of cocaine and a sixteen year old girl with legs so long you’ll need a step ladder to get up them - that may not be happiness, but it’s alright” – Randy Newman (the next best thing)

Our contemporary consumer value set reaches far and wide within and around our Christian language, culture, and most broadly life. We use phrases that, if not directly taken from our secular culture, are a pretty damn close carbon copy.

One such phrase that struck me during a conversation with a friend, was the simple “more of”; for example: “more of God”, “more holiness”, “I want more of your peace.” Now while there is nothing “wrong” with the more phrases, I have begun to realize just how at their heart, they are stunningly consumer value driven. No one in our current climate could argue that “more” is bad. Bigger, better, more, larger are all synonymous with greater. When we ask (for example) for “more holiness” it feels more like an all-you-can eat buffet, where holiness is the extra mashed potatoes we’re trying to fit on the side of our plate ‘o Godliness. And provided we don’t trip on our way back to the table, we can get “more holiness” in our life.

So we ask for more holiness in our lives, and we’ll try to squeeze it in; right beside “more God” and “more time with God.” And this creates one heck of a problem as we eat, not to be satisfied with what God wants, but rather out sample a bit of everything at the salad bar. While it’s not necessarily bad, it misses the point altogether as we struggle to figure out what expressions of these characteristics should be. Our expressions through time become learned and not sought, our balance becomes skewed – and before long, we find ourselves hopelessly overweight, and wondering how anyone can actually do this.

Our contemporary consumer value set has us walking up a ladder with no end – when I would argue that this sort of language creates a metaphor, that creates an attitude, that creates a motive that is ultimately hmm how do I say…unfulfilling.

What if the metaphor was shifted to something of asking to have the exact meal that we should have at that time? Calories, health, etc. to the wind – we simply ask for the right meal and stop going after the most “bang” for our buck.

What would worship look like if we spent more time worshiping who God is and not asking for more potatoes? What would prayer be like? Would we find the bible interesting?

I’ll slow down now – as I should get to bed.

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