Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


heres your sign billWe’re all guilty of asking dumb questions from time to time.    Sometimes they are the Bill Engvell’s  “Here’s your sign” kind of questions.  My favorite for our unique family was “Do all your kids have the same Dad?”   I so bad wanted my wife to say, “Yup, I know right?  Great question.  We never knew what color they were gonna come out either. Surprised the heck out of us too.  What a ride.”  But she’s nicer than me. 🙂

Anyway… dumb questions are not limited to just moments when we are trying to show interest and accidentally say something stupid instead.  Sometimes we just simply ask the wrong questions.  Sometimes we ask, “Will this make me happy today?” instead of, “Will this lead me to who I want to become tomorrow?”  Both are good questions, but one question is wiser.  One question leads to a great life and the other leads to temporary satisfaction and is often coupled with long term regret.

One of these types of questions that come up in youth ministry a lot is “How far is too far?” and it is usually tied to some sexually charged dating relationship.  However, the problem is not that student’s are dating or even that they have sexual interests.  The problem is the motive of the question.  The goal is not “How can I honor God in this relationship?”  Instead, the goal is, “How can I honor God the least without getting in deep trouble?”  It’s essentially, “How far can I get from God before God smites me or something?”  It’s rooted in fear, lust, and personal agenda and it’s a dumb question.

But we don’t just do this in only one area of our lives and teens aren’t the only culprit. We do this all over and at all kinds of ages.  Regardless of the subject, our goal is often a search to fulfill the minimum for Godliness, not a passion to get as connected to God and sin free as possible.

But maybe the minimum standard for holiness is not at all what Jesus meant when he called his disciples to “Deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.”  Maybe those who hung out with Jesus knew that he was loaded with grace and forgiveness, but also never called them (or us) to give mere bits and pieces of ourselves to God.  In the end, it’s really a particularly Western Protestant and American way of viewing faith.  So many people around the world don’t see their own faith this way at all.  In fact, it’s our lack of entire life commitment to centering our lives on Jesus that causes many muslims, mormons, jews and just basic skeptics to question our devotion at all. It is uninteresting to them and hypocritical.  When we treat God like a boss we want to avoid getting angry and not a coach we can’t wait to play for… we diminish the gospel and miss the point entirely.

Maybe instead of asking, “How can I be the least saved or the least redeemed?”, we should begin asking….

“How can I live the most connected to God?”

Perhaps that would produce a much wiser and much more Godly path for living.  Maybe, instead reducing God to a list of rules and ideas, we’d end up doing life with God and living a far better life with God, than an empty one of religious behavior management.

Leave a Reply