Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Getting Schooled

Whenever I can, I substitute teach. Yesterday I had to opportunity to teach at the local high school in an English class. During lunch several students came in to eat their lunch in my classroom. It seems that the teacher I was subbing for is a well liked teacher and allows students to spend their lunch time with her. One male student was talking, and explaining the mysteries of life to a few of the other students, and of course was talking loud enough so all of us in the room could benefit from his vast experience and wisdom. It seems that one of his other teachers is a Christen and was trying to share Christ, in a little bit of a pushy way, with one of her classes. He was giving us the low down of the conversation and sharing his displeasure with her and her message. He exclaimed that he was an atheist, and that he was not going to believe in some God who only wanted to make everyone exactly like himself, and that doing so even went against his very own laws. Of course, fighting against my shy nature, I had to say something about the subject to the young man. I told him that it sounded like he did not know much about the subject of God, and that he should be more informed before he made such statements. To which he did not have anything to say. He just kind of looked at me with a blank expression. Then I think his mind wandered, because he turned around and started talking about something else after saying something under his breath about his other teacher and her pushing her beliefs on to him.

Two things about this situation bug me. One is that people always seem to think that everyone around them automatically shares there views and opinions. It's like we are so self centered that it never even occurs to us that someone might have a different opinion then we do. Why would they? Doesn't everyone agree with me? Aren't I the most important person in this room? My mommy thinks I am! It has also been my experience that teenagers are not the only ones who think this way. I can not count the amount of times that an adult has just started in on some subject, just assuming that I would share their views on the subject, never even considering that I might totally disagree with them. Then I have to consider the very likely possibility that I have done the very same thing on many occasions. I am all for speaking up for things you believe and feel strongly about, but when you start speaking, you should always be aware of others, and never assume that they share your views just because they are with in ear shot.

The second things is when people speak from their ignorance. It was very obvious to me that this young man did not know anything about God or the Bible. He was sharing his personal opinion, and what he assumes to be true. He may have even herd some stuff from other people who where also wrong. Why do people do that? If I don't know anything about a subject, I would not go spouting my thoughts to people. I would never go up to Jake Hillis and start telling him about how refrigerators work, and what is inherently wrong with the whole system. Because in truth he has a lot of knowledge about the subject, and I have almost none. I have not studied how they work and why they work like they do. Just like that young man has not done any studying about God and who He is and what He does, or why He does it. That young man does not know what God's laws are, and for sure he does not know anything about what God wants from him or for him. But, for some reason he felt able to make some unfounded statement about God, and not only that, he felt he actually had the right to make some kind of judgement about the creator. How stupid is that? I wanted to stand up and push the kid out of the room, and tell him "sorry, no stupid people allowed." and all God wants to do is to show him how much He loves him. Once again we are all reminded why it's a good thing I am not God, and that God is God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good at friendship

I don't get to preach on Sunday mornings very often, so when I do, I enjoy it and try to make the most of it. This past Sunday I got an opportunity and I spoke on friendship. At first it may not seem like that important of a subject, but if you take the time to think about it, you will discover that relationships are really important to our lives, and of major importance to God. Jesus actually had many relationships while on Earth, and because he was never married, all of his relationships were friendships. He was the best there was at being a good and true friend. There are many examples Jesus gave us that we can model to show us how to be really good at relationships, but I think the most important thing we can get from Jesus on this matter is to make sure that we are getting our needs met from God and not looking for them to be met by other people in our lives.

Have you ever been friends with a person who needed your attention all the time. Who whenever you talked with them, it was all about them. No matter what struggles you were going through in your life, they were always going through something worse, and not only that, but no one could possibly understand what they were going through. Have you ever had a friend that needed your attention so bad that you were afraid to be caught talking to someone else. They were so possessive of you that if you were friends with someone else, they felt like you were cheating on them. You were a friend cheater, a feater if you will. Have you ever felt trapped by a friendship? Like if you were not their friend their whole life would just fall apart. It's almost like you become their life line and if you were to leave, they would not be able to cope with every day life. These are the type of friends that make you feel exhausted every time you spend time with them.

If you have never had a friend like that, maybe it is because you are that friend. No one can be everything to someone. We were not meant to get our needs met by other people. People can not meet our needs for long, and if we continually try to get our needs met by our friends we invariable become needy. From there it becomes this vicious cycle of being needy, trying to get your needs met by friends, which in turn leaves you feeling more needy. Now repeat and rinse, presto, you are a really needy annoying friend.

What's the answer? Get your needs met by God, and free up your relationships to be what they were meant to be. It sounds easy, but if we are used to getting our needs met by other people it can take some real effort and time to break this bad habit. It make take some time, but it is well worth it.