“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
I keep thinking over Pastor Bryon’s reading of Romans 12:1-2 from the Message: “Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.”
Honestly, we can go through some of the more obvious externals of conforming to the world, and I can start to feel pretty good about myself. But what about the more subtle conformations of my soul? Like a toxic substance that my skin has absorbed and I didn’t even know I had been exposed to it, where has my soul absorbed some unhealthy ideas?
Can I pose an odd question? Have you ever thought about how having Amazon Prime can affect your relationships? Here’s the thing. If I remember there’s something I need to buy before I go to bed at night, the drones at Amazon can have that thing waiting on my front step before I even get home from work the next day.
What can you do for me?
It’s a sick little idea that can seep into our skin from the hurrysickness of our culture. It’s the insidious idolatry of personal convenience. And do you know how that manifests itself in real life? We get really flaky. Ever sign up for something and never show up? Ever agree to have dinner with a friend and then you keep ghosting them when a better option comes along or you overcommitted and just feel like vegging out after a long day? Yeah, let’s get real fam.
Here’s one more variation. Ever have three separate conversations going at the same time virtually while your friends and family around the table next to you wonder what you’re doing on your phone? The idea that our smartphones have allowed us to defy the law of physics and be in two separate places at once is an illusion. Let your body and your attention both occupy the same space.
You know what’s one of the most frustrating things about people? We’re real time consuming. And really, who’s got time for that?
I led a lifegroup in the winter semester and you know what was amazing about it? Everyone showed up. I mean, we didn’t have 100% universally perfect attendance, but if people missed, they were literally out of the country or were sparing the group from the spread of infectious diseases. That was it. They made a commitment and showed up and kept showing up. And when they were there, they were fully there. They read the content that we had agreed to go through and were ready to lean into it. They extended trust and shared vulnerably about really personal things in their lives that made your heart want to break. Can I just tell you that for a lifegroup leader, that is like the Balm of Gilead.
I’m going to wrap up this post with a few gems and pearls of wisdom and let them do their work on your soul:
“No one can become a new man except by entering the Church, and becoming a member of the Body of Christ. It is impossible to become a new man as a solitary individual.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost Of Discipleship
“The sacrifice of selfish privacy which is daily demanded of us is daily repaid hundredfold in the true growth of personality which the life of the body encourages.” – C.S. Lewis, The Weight Of Glory
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit . . .”- Ephesians 4:2-4
Do you want to connect with people? Do you want something deeper and more genuine than the non-dairy creamer faux friendship of skimming through a Facebook scroll or Instagram feed? Do you want to move past the sometimes awkward formalities of a lifegroup into a deep and dangerous fellowship of faithful friends? It’s going to cost us something. And that something is primarily the sovereign freedom of our time, personal convenience and attention.
by Steve Lamp
Steve and his wife Melissa began attending Kingsway in 2014. Not normally prone to public displays of emotion, he wept during the first worship service and knew he had found home. As an avid reader, Steve believes the ideas we allow into our minds are critical to our spiritual formation. He enjoys exploring nature, playing and spending time with his two young sons and over-quoting his favorite authors, C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard.