Last year it dawned on me that I was tired of being a public relations person for God. I realized that for some reason I felt an obligation to put a spin on things that always made God look good. It was not a conscious thing but more of a involuntary response that I had developed over time.
As Christians we tend to use phrases like “It was a God thing” or “God worked it all out”. These phrases are used exclusively for situations that work out well and make good sense. You never hear them applied to a flat tire, a lost job or a car accident. According to the Bible God is actually responsible for many things that none of us would call “good”. Remember Job??
The disciples of Jesus were called away from their comfortable family businesses to go do something that does not qualify as good by our current standards. As a result, God was able to be his own PR person. He performed miracles that spoke for themselves.
Our current Christian world suffers from an absence of the supernatural miracle. As a result, the Christians rely on church buildings, the number of people attending and the scale of their programs to convince people that God is with them. There are also some who would agree with my previous statement and feel that their particular group does not rely on those things and believe they do have the supernatural active in their group. I would have been in that group, until last year.
I began to look critically (not negatively, just critically) at what I counted as supernatural, compared to what the disciples of Jesus experienced. One thing that was notably missing was a supernatural love for other people. My love was reserved for people who thought and acted like me. Everyone else was my “mission”. I needed to get them to see “the truth”. I did not actually love people. I know this because I would get frustrated when they did not see “the truth”.
I also looked at what I called a miracle. If I were to go to church and someone had a headache or some legitimate sickness and that person was healed I would talk of that miracle for years to come and it would serve to remind me and show others that God is with us. Then I read in Mark chapter 6 where Jesus could not do any miracles, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. It was then that I realized I have been selling myself short. Jesus is almost apologetic that all He could do was to heal a few sick folk and I was perfectly satisfied with that being the full extent of the miraculous.
That is when I decided to stop being the PR guy for God. I decided that I would no longer be satisfied with the healing of a few sick folk. I was interested in God being His own PR person and seeing greater things than the disciples saw. That decision required me to do some pretty crazy things and, as you can read in my earlier blogs, they did not always make sense.
As I take inventory this fall, I can honestly say that I never want to go back to being God’s PR guy. He is doing a great job of that for Himself. We are in contact with 4 families, from diverse Christian backgrounds, that picked up and moved here and all of their stories are eerily similar to our own. God has provided a way for us to survive and thrive without needing to work a traditional 40 hour a week job and our family has never felt closer to God. It feels like we have literally partnered with God as a family.
I am not sure what is next, but I am confident it will be more than the healing of a few sick folk.