Normal Christian Experience?

I’d like to suggest that we have a strange concept with normal. Normal is a word I think everyone throws around but we’re not sure what it means. I’m not set on a clear definition myself. It usually means that this is the way that it is supposed to be. I believe we also have a normal Christian experience in mind.

How many of us would really say we spend our lives desiring God? Do we really spend so much of every day pondering the nature of God? Do all we want to do is pray and study Scripture and read other books on the topic? Do we get excited every time we approach the Bible?

If you find a lack in those and you find it in you, you’re not alone. This is what I do, and I can’t say that the above would describe me.

Now here’s where the problem comes from.

The desire is an emotion and too often we think that if we don’t have the emotion, then there’s something wrong with our Christian life. It can leave us feeling miserable. Let me make a suggestion here. If you are in that boat, then I would suggest that the misery you feel is a sign of your devotion to God.

Beg your pardon?

If you were one who did not care one way or the other, you would not even notice any sort of lack in you and even if you did, you would not care. The misery could very well be the gift of God to you. On the other hand, if you have a great devotion and joy in your emotions, then you’re already there! It’s win/win!

Let’s also note that you are not meant to be like everyone else. You do not think like everyone else. You do not do anything like everyone else most likely. I am an introvert. Am I to be seen as less spiritual because I am not outgoing? Is someone athletic less spiritual if they are not as intellectual as an A student? Are you less spiritual if you can’t sing like someone else?

Now, while we’re all different, there is one thing we have in common. This is what we should focus on. We are all sinners who have come to the cross. We are all striving for what Paul called perfection. I don’t know if we’ll reach it this side of eternity. I doubt it, but I’m not closing the door on that just yet.

I do know this though. I’m striving now and my guess is so are you. Let’s unite on what we have in common then. Let us picture the goal as the top of a mountain. You and I are climbing it as well as every other Christian. What are we going to do? Press ahead and ignore everyone else? Hardly.

Let’s reach hands across this mountain. We’re all in different spots on different sides trying to make it and we won’t make it alone. Some of us will stumble. Some of us will need to be pulled up by others. Some of us will be able to help others get past some areas better and they’ll help us get past others as well.

Let us jettison the idea of a normal Christian experience. God made us uniquely different. It is time we tried to be us and not someone else.

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