Monday, April 05, 2010
Gettimg to God
"The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness."That makes me think about surgery - well actually the fact that I am having some in a few weeks (nothing major, just plastic surgery to remove some leftovers from my weight loss) doesn't hurt, but seriously...
We typically have surgery, a very painful undertaking, to avoid something worse. We are willing to suffer pain to avoid death and other forms of unpleasantness.
So why are we so want to avoid the "panging pains of repentance" when it comes to things spiritual? That, as the doctors might say, "discomfort" is needed to avoid consequences far worse. The question answers itself - we do not truly understand the consequences of the decision.
Which makes plastic surgery more interesting to examine in our metaphor. People no longer like to talk about the downsides to a lack of repentance - put lets set that aside and focus on the upsides. That's kind of like plastic surgery. No one will die if they don't get it, but their life is improved. Just so we do not get lost in the metaphor here, I am not talking about "cosmetic" surgery where beautiful people make themselves more beautiful. I am talking about stuff where kids with cleft palettes are made to look normal, or someone like me for whom walking will be much easier when I lose the skin that hangs between my legs.
There are significant upsides to suffering the "panging pains of repentance" but people are still unwilling to go there. The reason, I think is because people do not see the upsides. We may talk about them in church, but they do not really SEE them. We look like everybody else. And that, of course, is because we have not truly suffered the "panging pains of repentance."
You see, if you want to do ministry, real genuine ministry - the kind that truly changes the world. That is where we need to start - on our knees, suffering the "panging pains of repentance."
It's not easy, but it is worth it.