“Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.” -Philippians 3:2 [NLT]
“Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. ” -Philippians 3:2 [MSG]
I struggle with balance.
I’m not sure how all of the ideas in my head piece together yet, but hold on. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about this bubble that Jesus followers somehow puncture the membrane of and step inside for good. The concept is that once a person begins a relationship with Jesus, they start surrounding themselves with everything sacred, leaving no room for living life with non-believers on their secular turf. Here’s a snapshot of my weeknights after work:
Tuesday night: LIFE group
Wednesday night: Relax / hang with friends
Thursday night: Challenge
Friday night: Relax
Saturday night: church
Sunday night: Challenge Staff meeting
This schedule of my regular week is looking more like a bubble every day. What do I cut out though? I’ve been thinking this over, because I’m a little torn. Although it seems very bubbly, how many times have I heard that I need to be involved in a small group? There goes Tuesday night. And you have to be apart of a church! That’s my Saturday night. Reach out to others, Shauna. Here comes Thursday night. Get involved in your ministry. Okay, Monday night. You need to be a leader. Got it covered on Sunday night. You should have accountability! I guess there’s Wednesday night left… If you haven’t been keeping track, that is 6 out of the 7 nights of the week that are full now. No wonder Christians live in a bubble! According to us, these things are necessary to get closer to Jesus. Sometimes, I feel like a religious busybody. Perhaps I am doing more evil than I am good by living this way.
All this begs the question: what about the lost and hurting? What about just hanging out with friends with no unspoken agenda? When can I fit that into my schedule? As it is, it’s not likely that I will. I feel quite frustrated by this feeling of over-involvement in everything good but nothing great. That’s not to say that the things I am involved aren’t great, but I don’t see myself producing anything great out of these activities.
I sure don’t want to be all bark and no bite. I want to be… wonderful. A person who chomps on the Word daily. In the midst of all the stuff I do, I can’t say I read my Bible in a meaningful way frequently. Barking about all this good stuff, but never devouring the Word of God equals a hungry, irritable dog.
Will I ever get this right? Am I even capable of being balanced? That’s the question I am exploring right now. How can I balance sacred and secular and so it becomes like one entity? How can I get it so my everyday living and breathing includes spending time with Jesus, naturally having spiritual conversations with others, whether believer or not, and being on a growth track that is leading me to produce fruit within my circle of influence? How do I break the bubble I’ve jumped into?