Thursday, 17 July 2008

Cringe and Compromise

July already how did that happen? I was supposed to be in Africa for the past couple of weeks with a group from church. I made the decision not to go and instead to go on holiday...selfish perhaps but self preservation is a wise choice at times. I'm coming to the end of my first year in Medicine. It has been enjoyable but difficult at times. I'm heading to newtownards hospital at the start of August to do Psychiatry so I'm looking forward to a change.

I have been trying to take time out with friends and family over the past few weeks. It has been good to spend time with the right people. God has been present but in many ways silent. I haven't heard him speak and I haven't really been listening that hard. My walk with God has probably suffered a bit and been a little lazy. I had lost a bit of my sparkle.

Lazy faith is an experience that is worse than no faith at all. I'm a passionate kind of person and I need that kind of fire between me and God for it to feel alive and real. It frustrates me to be stagnant.
I have become really aware of how much I cringe..Christian events, Christan music, Christian jargon. Some of the cliches used by all of us, myself included make me cringe so much that I often just shy away from engaging. I have just been reading a bit today and trying to ask myself what it is about this life with God that I love, what is the part of it all that I grasp?

I suppose the answer is love. I understand, appreciate and crave the love of God inside me, completing me and changing those around me. I love to see God's love bring hope to the hopeless, and freedom to people in chains. I guess I haven't seen enough of it recently for it to be fresh in my spirit.

I think as people of Faith today we can be so cringey about Jesus stuff that we can compromise our faith at times. We don't enter in as much as we could, or be as bold as we should for fear of being cheesy or "carried away". Come on we all know people that we think are...out there!!

Jesus and his disciples were carried away. Not with emotion or airy fairness but with the truth of God's love. Injustice made their blood boil so much so that they could never be part time spectators. They were in the thick of it. Tearing down narrow mindsets and inequality.

Cringey Christianity may be almost nauseating at times but not as nauseating as the part time Christians that we can easily become. Its all or nothing really.

I am going to enough things.
I am talking to the right people.
I am reading enough stuff.
But I am not giving 100% right now..I have changes to make to be more like Jesus. Not just in my actions and lifestyle but in my whole outlook on what it means to live for Christ. If I am not striving for that I am simply wearing the label just to ease my conscience.

I am in a job with lots of potential. I can become a successful independent woman with lots of money and confidence and attitude. So much as I love the new Audi A3 and the thought of a villa in the South of France, and while in themselves those things are not wrong, I fail to see how I would find fulfilment. Sounds obvious as a Christan maybe..."only you can fill my deepest longing" and all that but the reality is that there are times when we are all prone to being sucked in.

What I really want is depth.
Deep connection with God, loved ones and those I encounter on my journey.
God is love.
He is nowhere to be found in hypocrisy, jealousy, laziness, pride....
He can complete us and the broken hearts around us.
Its like I have this first aid kit packed full of plasters that heal. But its closed, its not even at the ready.

Wounds are everywhere. People need us to be all that we can be for the sake of God's kingdom. Being part time only leads to people loosing faith in God rather than finding him.

The risk of being in the thick of it is considerable but fulfilment is not only a romantic idea its the truth of living for Jesus. So instead of criticism and cringing, which at times are fully justified, I need to be sure that I am not settling for a faith that doesn't even scratch the surface.

There is so much more out there. So many more people to impact, more dreams and more blessing. The blessing of God differs from earthly success as it has a third dimension. It sparkles and is covered in peace. That's what I want...the beauty of his presence in my life every day, carrying me to the next point and independent of my own reasoning.

Mark 9:50

"For everyone will be tested with fire. Salt is good for seasoning but if it looses its flavour how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt amongst yourselves"


  1. This is amazing,you didnt need to go to Africa, because u have discovered what you would have discovered there right here in Norin Ireland. On our final day in India, one of the children had a t-shirt with 'Love' on the front of it, and we all thought that sums the whole thing up...seems like a cliche...but that is what its all about. I agree with the lazy aspect, how can we possibly be close to God when we are going through laziness!

  2. hey! i am not sure we ever had a real conversation but I was the American on Axiom when Lindsay now Martin was on it. So, I have randomly come across your blog a few times and its so refreshing and honestly real! I wish I had known you better when I was over cause I have a feeling we would have been as I would like to call it "heart friends". Would you mind much if I put a link on my blog to your page? I have a blogspot that I dont use, but my blog is Thanks!!

  3. Often I have been in company where anything other than bland Christian references are acceptable. Anything more spiritual was considered to be from a 'Holy Joe'.

    The great shame is that I allowed this attitude to intimidate me and stop me being real about how I feel as I Christian.

    I have always thought in not compromising my beliefs as a Christian but even now I have to admit when the going got tough and acceptance was on the line, I bailed out!

    Loved your post. Made me realise that unless I put in the time (1 to 1) with God, this will not change. This hasn't been a new realisation but one I have chosen to do nothing about. I guess I've been lazy myself for too long and needed a reminder x

  4. When I look at the blood
    All I see is love, love, love.
    When I stop at the cross
    I can see the love of God
    But I can't see competition
    I can't see hierachy
    I can't see pride or prejudice
    or the abuse of authority
    I can't see lust for power
    I can't see manipulation
    I can't see rage or anger
    or selfish ambition
    But I can't see unforgiveness
    I can't see hate or envy
    I can't see stupid fighting
    or bitterness,or jealousy.
    I can't see empire building
    I can't see sel f importance
    I can't see back stabbing
    Or vanity or arrogance.
    I see surrender, sacrifice, salvation,
    humility, righteousness, faithfulness, grace, forgiveness
    Love Love Love........
    When I Stop! the cross
    I can see the love of God.

  5. I understand what you are going through

  6. Have missed seeing you about, Joy! :-) Wish you all the best as you embark on your career in Psychiatry. I pray that God will bring your sparkle back as he works deep in you, and that he will remain your first love.

    Did you know Anna got into Glasgow - so she is a happy girl.


  7. Have missed seeing you about, Joy! :-) Wish you all the best as you embark on your career in Psychiatry. I pray that God will bring your sparkle back as he works deep in you, and that he will remain your first love.

    Did you know Anna got into Glasgow - so she is a happy girl.