Living in Las Vegas, I’ve become familiar – most likely not to my benefit – with buffets. Vegas is known worldwide for it’s buffets. Almost every major casino and hotel has one – all-you-can-eat foods from all over the world. On one plate you can pack egg rolls, crab legs, and enchiladas with pizza, fried chicken, and cheesecake. They are great for your budget and horrible for your waistline. Nevertheless, they are a huge part of the Vegas culture.
Something I’ve been noticing lately is how more and more people are taking a sort of “buffet approach” to their faith. We’ve become one huge buffet line of religion. On one plate, we pack a little bit of what Jesus taught, some views from Buddah, a sprinkling of Oprah and Dr. Phil, and top it all off with whatever self-help book is popular at the time. And all of a sudden, we’re living by our own self-made, all-you-can eat religion. . .All of what we want, and none of what we don’t want.
The problem with this is that, in the end, we’re left unsatisfied, confused, and frustrated. When we reduce our faith to a personalized, individualized thing that has little to do with true Christianity, all sorts of problems arise. We see it everywhere – from lukewarm faith that falls apart when the things WE want don’t pan out to harsh legalism that doesn’t know the first thing about grace. We settle for half-truths and cheap imitations, making God in OUR image. . .and the outcome is far from what we thought it would become.
Can you relate? Have you developed certain views about God and life that leave you feeling lost and confused? You know you love him but you are having a hard time connecting the dots. Maybe you’ve been hurt, and you feel let down by God. Maybe you’ve built up walls that aren’t allowing you to let him work in your heart.
In my own life I’m going back to the Bible and teaching of Jesus. I want to ground myself in historic Christianity and take it as it is, not as I may want it.
When we revisit Jesus teachings we see how much he loves us. We see how much significance comes from him. . .he wants to show us how much we need his love. How we don’t have to hurt, carry burdens, heal, or live alone.
He’s our healer. He’s our strength. He’s our deliverer. He’s more than enough. Ultimately, he is all of what we really need and none of what we don’t!
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