Well, happy 2014 to you and your families!! After having the baby, I had a few super busy weeks, so I didn’t get a chance to blog. And then we did a 21-day fast with our church in January and we fasted from social media… so thus no blogging!
But I’m back! I wanted to write about something that has been on my heart lately. You may read this post and scratch your head and think, “What in the world is she talking about?” This may not apply to you at all. But it applies to me and I felt like I was supposed to write about this so here goes!
Oversaved. Super spiritual. Holier-than-thou. We all know who ‘those people’ are. Those people who refrain from watching TV and have 4 hour quiet times instead. Those people who have the whole Bible memorized. Those people who when you ask for advice, they respond with a “let me pray about it.”
Those people. Soooooo oversaved!
Being oversaved is okay if you are a pastor, missionary or maybe a member of a church staff. That’s your job description. But for those of us who are “lay Christians,” we never want to come off as oversaved.
In fact, we even do our best to make sure we don’t sound “oversaved” to our Christian friends. We start sentences off like “Not to sound super spiritual or anything, but…” We are embarrassed to pray for a friend who needs help and so often just give good advice or say, “I’ll be praying for you.” We watch that movie instead of expressing our conviction about it to our friends. We shy away from leading a prayer when we are eating dinner with other Christians. We participate in gossip and ignore that conviction churning inside of us that’s telling us it’s wrong. “I don’t want to offend her and tell her to stop gossiping,” we say to ourselves. So we just go along with it.
Just the other day, we were playing at the church play place and Emerson started saying, “I can’t” about something. At home, we remedy this sort of negative self-talk with Philippians 4:13. We say it and have him repeat it. But because we happened to be in public this particular time, I was so embarrassed that people would think I was “oversaved,” so I pulled him real close and we whispered the verse together. Sad I know.
Why do we have such a fear of being “oversaved” in our modern day church culture?
I know for me, it’s because I fear that people will think I am prideful. I even get so nervous about blogging anything that is relatively spiritual for fear that it will come across that I’ve got it all together and that I am better than everyone else.
But the truth is… I don’t think I am better than anyone else. I don’t have it all together. And doing things that are “super spiritual” is actually an act of humility rather than pride because it’s getting the focus off of me and onto God.
You see, I NEED Jesus. I need to do what those “super spiritual” people do and read my Bible DAILY. I need to do what the “oversaved” Christian does and quote Scripture when I am having a hard day. I need to be that “holier than thou” mom and speak Scriptures over my children because I can’t offer them the world’s best advice. I need to do these things not to feel like a better Christian, but because I am desperate. I am desperate for help. I am desperate for God.
The truth is, sometimes I need to skip that time in front of the TV and spend some time worshipping not because I am righteous, but because tomorrow may be a day that my toddler decides to skip his nap and my baby screams all day. And as someone who truly loves alone time, BBC isn’t going to help me have patience when I don’t get that mommy break in the middle of my day. And Netflix is not going to help me have a good attitude when there is juice all over the floor, the dishes are piled up, and I’ve picked the toys up from around the house for the millionth time. As a person who is a bit OCD, I am not righteous enough or holy enough to have a good attitude about a messy house without God’s help. I need to be filled with the Word of God every day so I don’t lose it!
The truth is, I need to pass on going to see that violent movie not because I think I am Jesus, but because my mind is sensitive to violence. I slept with the light on for the entire duration of high school because I had watched too many horror movies and violence on television and was scared of the dark. 4 years of being petrified of the dark. 4 years of exhaustion from not getting a good night’s sleep. 4 years of my pulse racing in the middle of the night when my parents had turned the light off for me after I had fallen asleep. So when I back out on going to see a movie, please don’t roll your eyes and think I think I am better than anyone else.
The truth is, I need to stop and take some time to pray when you call me and ask for advice. Not because I want to sound like a super Christian, but because I am not a psychologist, and I don’t have all the answers. Only God does. So if you come to me asking for help, it’s to your benefit that I stop and pray for you before trying to give you advice out of my own understanding.
Yes, I know there are people who gloat about their Christianity. I know that Jesus constantly called out the Pharisees for acting spiritually prideful. And if you choose to do something spiritual to make YOURSELF look better, then maybe you should refrain. But if you are refraining from something that God has put on your heart for fear that people will think you are prideful, don’t refrain. It is more prideful to go ahead and watch that violent movie than to humbly express that you aren’t holy enough to guard your mind perfectly against it. If I am gossiping, it is more prideful for you to participate in the gossip and think that you are above the destructive effects of talking poorly about others than to refrain from gossiping.
A little over a year ago, Trice and I were desperate. We were desperate to hear from God and desperate to grow in our faith. We were desperate to be a part of a healthy Christian community. We took a ginormous leap of faith, sold our house and moved to Texas to be a part of Gateway Church. One of the first things I noticed among my Gateway family was that so many of them responded with a “let me pray about it.” So many of them talked about what God was speaking to them in their quiet times. So many of them attended the numerous conferences and special prayer services. They were all soooo super spiritual and soooo oversaved! And it finally dawned on me that they aren’t this way because of pride or because they have anything to prove or check off on their Christian checklists, but rather they have realized how desperate they are for God.
So now I have realized that we are in is a safe place. It is a safe place to boldly speak Scripture over my children rather than whispering it in a corner. It is a safe place to be honest and say I need to pray about a decision before jumping into something. It is a safe place to have personal convictions about what I watch on TV. Because it is a place where everyone’s number one desire is to grow as Christians and see you grow as well. And I truly hope that this sort of environment permeates church culture throughout our country.
So for all of you super spiritual, oversaved, Jesus-loving yet humble, desperate Christians out there, thank you for standing up. Thank you for living out your faith. Thank you for challenging me to go deeper in my personal relationship with God. I will not scoff and roll my eyes when you do something “holier than thou” but will thank you for the reminder that we are all just desperate Christians who need the constant love of God.