Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good Again?

Is the gospel good news? Is it truly considered "good" in our culture, our community? Is it actually "good news" to me personally in my life?

These are the questions I've been wrestling with today, stemming from a 7 week series my pastor's been preaching on at church, but today it hit me extra hard as I sat with a friend, realizing that it was a great opportunity to tell her the "good news" of Christ but held back because it felt so hypocritical.

Can I tell another person about the "Good news" when I myself have doubts? When the answers still don't quite satisfy me, so how can I expect them to satisfy another person? If the "good news" is so "good," then why do I struggle in belief?

I read books about how being "saved" is a life transforming experience, and there are times I wonder: Am I transformed? Is it as amazing and deep felt? I look around at others in my church on a Sunday morning and they are standing up, arms outstretched, some even dancing a bit, as they sing with abandon to our Lord. I'm not sure I feel it as deeply and intensely as they do and I wonder why?

I wonder why I have so many questions and doubts while others are just so blissfully happy.... sometimes I wonder if I'm "saved" but I look back at my life and all the times I accepted Christ "just in case" it did not stick when I was little. If that is truly what it takes to be "saved" then I most undoubtedly am, but....... what if its more?

I'm looking and waiting for a life transformed, but what does that look like? Is it a slow process? Why is it so much faster for everyone else? And finally; I know I believe. I know deep down what is true, though I fight it and question in, deep down I know. But how to share my faith with another honestly, knowing that I still have questions?

I posed this question to my pastor who simply said, after I pressed, that I'm not supposed to know all the answers; if I did, it wouldn't be faith. (He's quite helpful, isn't he?) I guess the reality is I want answers. I want more assurance than I have, and yet..... I should be perfectly assured!

There's a part of me that still thinks that "sharing my faith" is a canned presentation filled with the illustrations I learned in evangelism class.... and if I was around a stranger, I'd probably revert back to that style, out of default, but here with a friend.... that doesn't work... and I wonder: can God use my honesty and vulnerability, even with the doubts that seem to be counterproductive, and make it something he can use? Is that real faith? Is real faith as imperfect and flawed as mine is?

Would someone actually want the faith I have?

There's a part of me thinking that when I finally get it figured out and start to live it the way I need to be living it, then the gospel will be good news and suitable to share.... but what if this is exactly the sort of evangelism and honesty God wants? Can he use even this? (I don't know)

I once believed the gospel is always Good News. To a degree, what we do can't diminish the fact that is it good. We can't add to it. But can we subtract from it? Can how we live change how the gospel is viewed? I believe it is always the Good news, but is it always viewed as the good news? Is that something that we are entrusted with? And if we are, can my doubts and questions exist there? WIll I ever get rid of my doubts and questions?

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