““If you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.””

– C.S. Lewis

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

I know there’s a moment when the preacher says something you can relate to — “Maybe you’re the guy struggling today with porn, drugs, drinking, punching small animals, and racing police officers, and you hate evangelism and Bible-reading and prayer just as much as I do!”

— so we totally nod along, BUT: relatability is not an excuse for lukewarm living.  It’s not permission to sit on the sidelines. 

A sigh of relief is not a sigh of excuse.

On one end, guilt-fear-and-shame are lazy preacher tactics that cripple us into fear-based faith, which isn’t sustainable.  Guilt has me staring at me.  But on the other end, half a grace has me staring right through God.

Sometimes what we perceive as grace is really watered-down reactionary Gospel, or it’s the preacher simply having a catharsis of his own demons to feel better about his past.

So we wouldn’t want…

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“Come, let us r…

“Come, let us return to the L ord . He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the L ord ! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Hosea 6:1-3



So I’m sitting here thinking about how I got to this point in my life. The preceding sentence makes this sound like some calm, cool epiphany. In actuality, I just had myself a good cry because, ya know, sometimes you just need to do that. What triggered this is the fact that the would-have-been-6-years anniversary of an ended relationship happens to be on Saturday.

This is NOT a mournful, regretful, I-miss-him post. Let’s make that abundantly clear.

This is about me repenting for the idol that I created out of that relationship.

My life centered around “us” in a very unhealthy way. I put him above everything else in my life, including my Father God. Every other relationship I was involved in suffered as a result of this toxic one. I very nearly alienated myself from my family on multiple occasions. I neglected friends who, lucky for me, did not choose to treat me in kind when I realized I needed them again. I failed to nourish budding friendships that could have been fantastic. I also let him become more important to me than my Savior. 

That should never have happened.

One, its not fair to him. That’s way too much pressure to place on a human beings shoulders. Two, its not fair to Him. My God, my Creator and Sustainer, the One who redeems and gives life and grace and joy and peace. 

I created an idol. I did it. I’m not a victim in this regard. I’m the guilty party here. 

Here’s the thing about idols. God is not going to put up with none of that. Scripture tells us He is a jealous God. He bought us, paid the ultimate price for our lives. We are His. He freed us from the bondage of sin to bring us to freedom in His family. 

For me to forsake that is a smack in the face to the One who loves me more than any man ever could. He knows my the deepest workings and longings of my soul because He created me. 

Luckily for me I serve a God who is not content to leave His children wallowing in their own sin. He prompted me to end it several times and I didn’t listen because I didn’t want to. Another awesome thing about my Father God: even though I refused to do what He requested of me He didn’t leave me there or give up on me. Instead, He ripped the idol right out of my hands and left me scrambling so that I could do nothing else but run to Him. That’s right. He cares enough to take away what we love most to refocus us and give us something better. He desires whats best for His children, even if we’re content to play with garbage.

I’ve learned a lot over the past several months, but the biggest thing is to never let anything come between me and my Father again. Whether thats my career or a relationship or money or anything else. We’re all in danger of creating idols. We’re all susceptible to taking the things we’ve been blessed with and elevating them to a level of precedence they we’re never intended to hold. That’s part of the fall. Every good thing God has created has been warped and poisonous and we have to be careful lest we fall in love with the created things rather the One who created it all in the first place. 

He is worthy.

“If there is an…

“If there is any hope for the world at all, it does not live in climate-change conference rooms or in cities with tall buildings. It lives low down on the ground, with its arms around the people who go to battle every day to protect their forests, their mountains and their rivers because they know that the forests, the mountains and the rivers protect them.”