the total depravity of Jakob

I’m in a Youth Ministry and Discipleship course right now and one of the assignments was to make a description of a discipled person… here are the attributes that I listed–

Loving towards all
Joyful with suffering
Peacful in trial
Gracious towards others
Humble in praise
Guiltless in forgiveness of sin
Honest with God, self, and others
Changed and Changing towards God
As I began to look over these again, I realized that by my own definition I am not a discipled person. Here’s why:
Loving towards all-
I am hardly so. In our small group we are studying Revelation. In chapter 2 I will be challenging them to find which Church they would have been part of. I am Ephesus. My nature is to attack everyone who is a heretic, but I make that my God and thus lose sight of my first love and can’t love others.
Joyful with suffering, Peacful in trial-
If you know me, you know that I am always encouraging people to look towards the promises of our great God. I know that God provides, I know that He sees through, and I always make attempts to point that out. But at the same time, I let the supposed lack of faith in others kill my joy and disturb my peace. If I were truly joyous and peaceful, then I would not be as bothered right? It is disturbing when people don’t trust God, but I need to realize that my joy and peace cannot be contingent upon the joy and peace of others. They may be strengthened by others, but must never be weakened.
Gracious towards others-
It is easy for me to not condemn non-believers. But my believing brothers and sisters enjoy slightly less grace from me. This is unfair. Because God gave me great grace through Christ, I should be so much more willing to distibute that grace. At the same time, if there needs to be correction, I have a habit of not being as tactful or Biblical as I should be.
Humble in praise-
I could be tricking you into believing that I am humble by writing this, but trust me, I am not. In knowledge, I know that I am no better then others. In practice, I place my self above my friends, others, and even God. By continuing pointless conversations and arguments just to proove myself makes me more prideful then ever imagined.
Guiltless in forgiveness of sin-
Because Christ saved me, I should not feel any guilt after repentance. But I am far from that place. When ever I sin (which is more often then I thought) I have a continuous sense of guilt that I rarely give to Christ.
Honest with God, self, and others-
Again, this blog can be deceptive. I would like to say that writing this proves my honesty, but it is far from that! It is difficult for me to begin each day and (as C.J. Mahaney writes) admit that I need Christ and His presence. Thus I lie to God. I also make my self believe that I am more than I am, and I refrain from telling my friends things that are important to their lives.
Changed and Changing towards God-
This is perhaps the only place where I may be considered a discipled person. But it is not of my own. God by His grace changes me. In the words of William Wallace “I have been given nothing, God makes men who they are”. This is so true. I am who I am by the great grace of the Father, sacrifice of Christ, and power of the Spirit.
I hope that this has been helpful to see my heart for what I feel that we should be. Authors such as Joshua Harris, C.J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll have recently shown me the great need for being transparent in life. Transparency and Humility are the most difficult virtues to obtain, but are perhaps the most important. By transparency, we allow others to see our faults and failures. By humility, we allow ourselves to see Christ glorified far above ourselves.
It is my prayer that you see through me, and that Christ turns my pride to humility.
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