Counterfeit Gods: A Reflection from Julie Pfister

Jason Micheli —  February 19, 2013 — 1 Comment

We’re continuing our Lenten Sermon Series, Counterfeit Gods, this weekend. Here’s another reflection from Julie Pfister on Tim Keller’s book by the same title.counterfeit-gods-timothy-keller

I’d like to pick up from where I left off last time, but unfortunately, until my family unsubscribes to Jason’s blog, I need to “cool it a bit”

Pick an idol – any idol.  That’s the way it seems to me sometimes.  Trying to exorcise all these false idols from my life can be difficult, but when we (and I mean I) are trying to protect a long held paradigm and comfortable way of life, identifying false idols and calling them what they really are can be the real tough part.

I remember being in a group study for The Hole in the Gospel and trying to find ways to live with myself after realizations that I am even more self-centered, self-absorbed and spoiled than I had thought.  I was seeking advice and honestly struggling with the concept that I could learn about the thousands that die every day from basic hunger as I lament the 15 pounds that I have gained. “How can I learn these things, without being CHANGED?”  I poured out to the group after a long sleepless night.  “Without needing to do more than check a box and donating a few dollars or serving at ROCK?”

“It was great” somebody offered in response, “the other day I got an email that the shelves were empty at UCM, so I cleaned out my pantry and took some food down – it  made me feel really good to do that.”

I asked “that’s great, but what if we need to do more than check that box and do something, that while responsive and generous, checks the box and makes us feel better?”  (I should have added a smiley face to the end of my question)

Somebody never came back to the group again.  I suppose I had offended her by diminishing what she had done, which was a generous act.  However, it was not my intention to diminish her.   I was deeply struggling with a concept that grips many of us in our comfortable lives.

How do we give enough money or time to others without upsetting that balance that we all like to think is more important than spending ourselves for Christ?

I want to be “exhausted for Christ” when I die on the one hand, but on the other hand, I want to just the food out of the pantry that we haven’t used and maybe throw in few other choice items.

People are so kind and effusive with their praise and thanks.  But, frankly, it makes me very uncomfortable.  I know myself well enough to know that it is only by the Grace of God and for His glory that I have time or energy for anything that I do.  Too often I have to fight the lazy bum I can be.

I am prone to wanna hang out on my porch and watch Netflix on my laptop and drink coffee and eat jalapeno chips all day….

I am prone to times of self-pity and self-doubt and subject to shame and regret at the time and opportunities I have squandered.

I am.

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above”

 

Jason Micheli

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