In today’s world, especially in the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s fast paced, secular society, a long time Christian can feel like a tossed and tattered relic from days gone by in this Windy City. Christian culture and ideology seems to be shifting as often as the winds whipping through Chi-town. So how does a Christian stand strong and remain relevant despite the opposing forces? It’s a tough question every Pastor and believer must ask themselves.
First, there must be an acceptance of change. Many have embraced this, but some still have not. If Christians attempt to deny change has come there is little hope for stamina or growth. Using old methods and legalistic mindsets are dated and can often times be erroneously destructive. Doing things “the way Mom and them did em” needs serious reconsideration. Christians can lose credibility if a new wine skin isn’t discovered and put to good use. The need to remain relevant does not merely apply to church workers who strive to introduce fresh, new approaches to the truth of the old rugged cross. All those who claim the name Christian need to hit the reset button and reboot.
Additionally to be “salt and light” that gives illumination and flavor to the world is a clear directive. This can be done both positively and negatively. Positive influence that can brighten a dark day or add sweetness to one’s soul is a true blessing. By way of contrast, shining a bright light too quickly into the eyes of someone who’s been in darkness for a long time only blinds them. Seasoning a conversation with bitterness does nothing to preserve a sacred belief, but it can cement a bad taste in the mouth. However, using a soft light that illuminates gently and slowly allows eyes to adjust and invites the seer to keep looking. Using the right amount of salt that can satisfy a picky palette takes careful assessment and skill for the tongue to savor what it’s sampled.
Ultimately, successful Christianity begins and ends with love. Sound simple? Perhaps, because it is. In truth, it is much easier than some make it out to be. Loving God and loving others does pretty much sum up the divine call for all Christians. The success rate in doing this well comes with discovering and embracing new recipes that will bless the spirit and soul. Including several cups of authentic sincerity, tender truth, Godly wisdom, gentle grace and a heaping portion of love can skillfully season and illuminate life for the recovering relic, the brand new believer and all whom they both will meet.
“The Relationship Principles of Jesus” is a good source for honing relating skills that are modeled after Jesus’ approach. http://www.tomholladay.com/relationship-principles/
Reconsider, reinvent, and love well. Relic thinking can be recovered and all made relevant once again, providing we allow the winds of change to blow us in the right direction.