This is written to those who profess to be Christians but are ridden with pessimism and are short-sighted, naval-gazers who love to simply point out the obvious short-comings of the church.
One word: Whatever!
PEOPLE ARE HYPOCRITES
People are hypocrites (including me!), they fail at practicing what they preach (including me!), and many don’t read their Bibles every morning before work (gasp!).
They get distracted by work, family, practices, fatigue, sickness and hobbies. This has been the same old story since the beginning of time. People are broken. Don’t miss the big picture and make mountains out of molehills.
BUT JESUS IS STILL SOVEREIGN!
Paul says “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
I choose to celebrate the fact that over 4,000 churches are planted every year in North America alone. I choose to allow the reality to sink in that over 150,000 people will give their physical lives for Jesus in martyrdom every year (most of whom do not own a copy of the Bible!) I choose to be thankful that literally billions of prayers are prayed to Jesus from cubicles, automobiles, prayer closets, and dinner tables.
For those who see their Bibles as incredible gifts of God, treasure them and pray for the rest of the world to see the value of the diamond that Scripture actually is.
WE ARE THE SMALL PERCENTAGE
For those who like to keep score and monitor others in their progress (or lack of) in daily Bible readings, consider the fact that no Christian including the Apostles ever had a “quiet time” per se prior to the release of the printing press (circa 1500 AD).
We are the small percentage of the world that has the Bible and resources available to us. If many Christians don’t understand this, stop scolding them and bless them. Die on the hill that actually matters.
QUALITY SOMETIMES BEATS QUANTITY
I choose to revel in the fact that my friend Amy read one verse in her Bible last week and God spoke to her. I choose to revel in the fact that my wife quoted a verse to me on Thursday last week and it spoke to me.
Quality sometimes beats quantity. This is not an excuse for a lack of discipleship. This is simply acknowledging our humanness is bound up in imperfection and that Jesus has perfected us by grace and thus we press on for his words of “Well done” and nobody else’s.
For those who see their Bibles as incredible gifts of God, treasure them and pray for the rest of the world to see the value of the diamond that Scripture actually is. Dwell on the “Whatevers” that carried Christianity throughout the empire in the first century.