Friday, July 20, 2007

Violators Will Be Prosecuted

I'm convinced that Satan's greatest accomplishment was making humans believe that our lives are private.

If you look around, it's everywhere. You can go to the library and get a private study room or booth.

You can work in an office in a cubicle.

You can live in an apartment and have your own bathroom.

You can put a gazillion passwords on your computer.

Everyone has their own car.

Everything is private. We have this right to keep things to ourselves and not let anyone in. We have been conditioned to think that no one wants to hear our problems, and that it's not right to ask anyone about theirs.

What is craziest to me is that all of these private things are considered luxuries. To go from sharing something to having your own is supposed to be a wonderful, good thing. You get promoted in your job, so you get your own office.

Congratulations! We're going to separate you from everyone else.

What on earth...

Reading about the early church in Acts 2:42-47 must sound like torture:

...All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praises God and enjoying the favor of all the people...

They liked this. They loved being around each other. They were all up in each other's business. They met together every day. They ate together. They shared their things. They were glad.

Yeah, this definitely doesn't happen much anymore. Satan got into the heads of us humans (especially us Americans) and gave us the grand idea that we should separate ourselves from everyone else as much as possible. Everything seems to be getting more impersonal.

Text messaging
Drive thrus
We will do anything to keep from talking to people face to face. It's really quite sad.

And we're supposed to carry each other's burdens? (Galatians 6:2)
Restore each other if someone is caught in sin? (Galatians 6:1)
Confess our sins to each other? (James 5:16)
Provide for our relatives? (1 Timothy 5:8)
Live in harmony with each other? (Romans 12:16)
Consider each other's needs above our own? (Philippians 2:3)
Build each other up? (Ephesians 4:29)

Are you crazy?

If I am struggling with someone, the last thing I want to do is go to someone and tell them about. No, no, that will make them think less of me. That will make me seem like a weak Christian. They will judge me. They will look down on me.

And that's exactly where Satan wants us.

Seemingly put-together, I've-figured-everything-out, strong and happy Christians. But slowly breaking and dying inside. Wrestling, struggling, painfully bearing our own burdens all by ourselves.
The Church has become a bunch of private people meeting publicly.
Satan laughs at this.
God cries.

For this is not the way we were made. We were made to do that list of things I wrote above. Yet we don't, and we're really suffering for it now. Community is no longer community. We don't meet to share our lives, we meet to play Guitar Hero and watch movies. Things we can do by ourselves, with other people present.
I'm sure you've all experienced this conversation:

"Hey! How are you?"
"Good, how are you?"
Ohhhh poop. That is my most hated conversation. And yet I have it at least once a week. I am trying to avoid it, though, and I think I'm getting better. Sometimes I say "great" instead of "good". Or if I'm really feeling down, I might say "tired". It changes.
And I'm suffering for it.
The Body is suffering for it.
I'm trying to think of how to end this on a good note, because this isn't exactly a happy post. It's a frustrated post about how we have let ourselves believe that privacy is the way to go. And yet real growth and change happens when we are real, genuine, vulnerable, open and honest with each other.
I want real growth. I want real change.
I will pray that God convicts me more of this. I should stop keeping things to myself and sharing my life openly with those around me. That is my prayer today.
-Katherine Louise