What is Sacrifice?

So during the teaching portion of Church today, the pastor said, “You have to give some up to follow Christ, but to choose not to follow Him you are giving up much more.” Now I’d like to change that to “You have to give some up to follow Christ, you have to give up everything not to.” Obviously I am a Christian. So I’m about to get really Christian in this post, so I hope you enjoy it. (Bear in mind, I am free writing, so I did not go back and re-think or edit anything).

Anyways, I was thinking about this saying, and it got me thinking about some other things. First my thought it what do you have to give up to follow Christ. And I would be willing to argue that you have to give up a substantial amount – all your aspirations and desires. Now this isn’t to say it is wrong to have aspirations and desires, but I think they should only be derived out of a desire for living for Christ. This meaning that even if I have aspirations to live a good moral life, or even do good deeds to other people, without it being for Christ it is still selfish. Now I think people should live good lives and do good to others – don’t get me wrong. What I am saying is, there is a difference when you are doing it to appease your guilt or obligation to humanity versus doing it as a act of service to the Creator of the world. Now I know what you are thinking, “isn’t that still an obligation?” Well, yes, yes it is. On the contrary though, I think an obligation to the One who created me is better to an obligation to others who were created by this Creator as well. All that to say, you have to give up what you desire to follow Christ – you should only desire Christ (this in turn leads to more, etc.).

The second thought I obviously have is, “what am I giving up to not follow Christ?” My answer is simple like before – “everything.” Why do I say this? It is because of my theology obviously. I believe in original sin and the fall, and I believe that humans from birth are enslaved to sin and selfish impulses. Remember, these impulses can manifest themselves into “good deeds” by having obligatory feelings towards yourself or others (idolatry against the Creator). Obviously, these impulses are not always (and mostly are not altruistic acts of obligation), they are usually acts of greed, selfishness, and pride. These words sound strong, so let me decipher what I think they disguise themselves as: money, comfortableness, false security, fleeting fun, apathy, etc.. I digress, being a slave to fleshly impulses – the things I just mentioned. Choosing not to follow Christ means a life chasing after meaninglessness, so you are giving up everything (aka meaning and purpose). I also think it means giving up eternity with God after death. In its simplest form, this is why I think we have to give up everything to not follow Christ – we have to give up everything that truly matters in the scope of eternity.

So, this have been my short free-writing rant. To sum it up, to follow Christ you have to give up some (everything that you desire now), but to not follow Christ you have to give up everything (all that really matters throughout all eternity). I hope you find some stuff in there you can agree with and some you can argue with. Let me know both, cause even after I am finishing writing this I am not sure if I agree with every word I said (or at least the way I worded it).

Inspiring Discussions

There was an awesome conversation last night in my house. Maybe Monday night discussions will be our new Monday house theme. The discussion lasted for a very long time, and even though I had to stay up until 2 in the morning to finish my paper for the next day, it was well worth it. We talked about beliefs changing your life. There are a lot of things people say they believe, but their life is no different. Even though most beliefs require some sort of response if the person truly believes it. It was a thorough dialogue on our own lives and how we claim to believe certain things but do not act on them. How can we stand by and watch people starve in other countries while we live comfortably in our house with abundant food while watching our 45” flat screen TV, yet we still claim to have love for humanity. Certain things require a response.

As I blog more and more, I feel I am getting more sentimental. I feel there is a need for sentiment more than there is for casual lifestyles. Often in my life I get a little out of hand with living too casually: Joking too much, not knowing how to respond to someone’s pain, or even avoiding situations that I know will make me guilty. I do not think it is wrong to have fun and enjoy oneself, but I certainly think it is wrong to do it at the expense of humanity, in any quantity. Yes, people may not be dying from living a casual life, but there is something to be said about living decently while someone else cannot even survive. Overall, I think I am going to start trying to be less casual, and a little more serious.

I think being too serious can get you into problems though. This is one thing I definitely don’t have a problem with, quite the contrary. Either way, I think it is worth addressing. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people are too serious or are stuck up. There are definitely two sides to the spectrum, but I think it bothers me more when people are stuck up, because they make people who are not serious feel awful by means of aiming poor attitudes at those people. It is a difficult balance. For me, I lean more towards being too relaxed – which I like, because I do not get frustrated easily. At the same time, it is good to learn how to be sensitive to help those in need of someone who is sensitive and understanding.

Its a New Week!

The new week has started. After a long hard weekend of work, finally the week is here. It is almost enjoyable knowing the week is starting just because I know it means it is that much closer to the next weekend. I find it odd about myself, how I am always looking forward to something else. To be content is definitely a difficult task. From small things to big things, it feels like everything is just pushing forward to the impending doom of being over so that something new can start.

Most of all, I think school is the most difficult to be content in. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in school, I love academia; it is just the feeling of knowing that I am practically trapped here and I need to finish before I can start something else. That is probably why it is hard for me to be content – I am too much of a spontaneous person.  So the feeling of having a task with a deadline, or having something that needs to be finished (i.e. my bachelors degree) is a very demoralizing feeling. I am close though, I can taste the finish line. I am coming up to my last semester in the Spring. Hopefully it will by my last, that is – if I do choose to add a second major to my degree, that will be another whole semester. Decisions make it even more difficult to deal with. Not only do I have to wait to be done with school, but I have to choose whether or not I need to wait longer. Overall, I think the real question is if its worth it.

I often look at my college career wondering if it has been worth it. I know I have made a lot of good friends and I have experienced a lot being here. At the same time, I can’t shake the feeling that I could be doing something more worth my while. I would rather be out in the world making some sort of difference now instead of waiting for my school to be done. At the same time, with more education I may be of more use. Often I hear people say how “we cannot really impact or change the world so why try.” I beg to differ though, I think that is exactly the reason there are problems. Anyways, I am getting too serious for right now, I will put that topic on the back burner for another time. All in all, I would just like to feel like I am not totally wasting my time at school, I need to be a part of something radically different.