I’m ready for a vacation…from life!

I’m ready for a vacation…from life!

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” 1 Peter 2: 12

Have you ever just been tired of life? With summer upon us, you may be thinking, “It’s time for vacation! I can’t wait to leave town.” In fact, you may even be thinking, “I’m ready for a vacation from life!” We all, at some point or another, get burned out and find that we just need a break. In fact, breaks are not bad things. God gave us the Sabbath for a reason; and then, He gave us the Sabbath year and Jubilee! He gave us these things, because He knew that we would grow tired in our struggle with life.

When Peter writes to encourage the exilic Jewish Christians, I think he had some notion of what it meant to want to escape life. He was the one that had walked with Jesus for 3 intimate years of ministry and then denied him at the end of it. He was the one on fire for the Messiah, zealously defending his every move, but was no where to be found when things got rough. And, he was just one of many who would eventually find that living for Christ would lead to his death.

Peter writes to encourage oppressed Christians who are trying to fly under the radar of Rome’s military. He writes to encourage them: in the midst of your suffering, let people see God through your actions! Life has been hard and may even get harder, but don’t give up in the midst of your weariness. You are here to glorify God with your life, so allow others to see Him in you.

So with school out, vacation coming up, and you thinking about escaping town, remember that you don’t get to take a vacation from life. Take time to rest and rejuvenate. Take time with family and friends. Remind your children of their importance in your life. And, remember that even the unbelievers are curious about how you will face the next day.

Live such a good life, that although someone may not know Christ, they will see him shining through your daily actions and words and decide that God should be praised because of you.

Frustrated with the World

More and more, our nation continues to treat Christians and the Christian mindset with disdain. Atheists are more aggressive in their opposition to Christian belief. Social activists continue to ridicule biblical family values. And the so-called sexual revolution has led to countless issues, including teen-pregnancy, disease and unhealthy attitudes and desires.

Sometimes, these kinds of things can get Christians so upset that they do and say things that are not very Christ-like. The church’s attitude toward homosexuality and same-sex marriage is a good example of how Christians can become hateful and intolerant in their own right. We tend to take our philosophical battles into the realm of personal attacks and character assassination.

Just this week, my frustrations were heightened by the attention received by Bruce Jenner. His transgender transformation is being celebrated and even called courageous! My initial reaction is to ask, “What is so courageous about a man ‘hiding’ for decades only to come out when the social climate makes it more comfortable to do so?” Yet Christians across the globe continue to die for their beliefs. And there are no celebrations, no awards, for them.

This shouldn’t surprise Christians. Rather than get upset and aggravated, we need to remember that unbelievers don’t think the way we think. They don’t believe in the things we believe in. To get mad at them is like getting mad at a dog for acting like a dog. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Unbelievers don’t understand why we do things the way we do. They think we are crazy. They think we believe in make-believe. 1 Peter 4:4 says, “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.”

Let us resolve to be Christ-like in all that we do. No matter what the world does, we must realize they are acting as unbelievers. We are called to be separate from the world, yet love. We are called to love those who are broken and confused and defiant.