Donny's Ramblings

Immaturity and Being Mean

8 Comments

On March 24th I wrote The Lost Gospels – And a Disclaimer. I’ve been wanting to write the disclaimer you read at the bottom of that column for weeks, but my original plan was that it would be it’s own stand-alone column. That way I can link to it anytime I write about something controversial in the future.

Why do that? Because I’m the type who questions everything. And sometimes my questions make people a little uncomfortable or upset. And for some reason I kinda like making people a little upset. Why? I dunno. I just do.

But I also want it to be known that I’m in the process of learning, and will likely be in that process for a very long time. For life, most likely. And as a learner I’ve got to be ready to admit that I often misunderstand concepts and/or ideas, or that I am entirely wrong. What I spew as hard opinions today I’ll likely dismiss as the ramblings of an Immature Learner tomorrow. Kinda like a teenager, ya know?

Such may be the case with some of the contents of this blog entry as well.

Like this, for example:

It seems to me that there is much more to God than some people want to open themselves up to believe. It’s my hope to never be the type of person who thinks I have God all wrapped up in a box. I don’t think it’s possible for the creation to ever fathom even a fraction of the bigness of the Creator (thank you, Rob Bell) and I get a bit peeved when I hear someone discussing God like they have Him all figured out. Personally, I believe there are so many dimensions to God that humans don’t have a chance of getting remotely close to understanding Him. Ever.

I also feel that, while the Bible is undoubtedly a very important book, it should come secondary to spending time with God Himself. If I was in love with a beautiful women (which I am, but that’s another story) I could spend all day reading about her but I’ll never get to know her until I actually spend time with her. Knowwhatimean Vern? My single favorite part of Lee Strobel’s latest book, The Case For the Real Jesus, is when he points out that we should never make an Idol out of the Bible… it was never meant to be one. It’s a great guide, but it can’t take the place of a relationship with our Creator.

But I digress…

__________

In his sermon today, my Pastor put into words exactly what I’m experiencing at this point in my life: spiritual immaturity. I’m an infant. I know, I know… it’s hard to believe.  But it’s true.  😉

Bill’s sermon discussed the love found in the 13th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth and explained how such love is only possible when one has reached a deep level of spiritual maturity. Did you know that 79% of non-Christians don’t think Churches demonstrate true love for God and love for others? I wonder if that means I’m not alone as an immature Christian…

Bill pointed out that this passage clearly demonstrates that such love as this doesn’t fail. Does. Not. Fail. Which makes me wonder if I’ve ever witnessed a truly mature Christian, but that’s another topic of discussion that I’m not capable of having.

When I surrendered my life to God in September of 2006 I began envisioning a world where God’s transformation power completely changed my life, healed my relationship with my ex-wife and reunited our family. With that goal in mind I was able to treat my son’s mother with a lot of patience. The things that used to irritate me when we were married (and even after we divorced… especially after we divorced) all of a sudden were “cute” and endearing. She noticed the difference.

But when it became apparent that reconciliation is out of the question… well, those things started bugging me again. I snap at her again. I’m very short with her again. I get angry with her again.

Immaturity. Not the love of 1 Corinthians 13.

And when Bill started talking about some Christians being downright mean to others I once again found myself getting hit upside the heads with his words. As recently as the past few weeks I’ve been pretty mean to others, including former acquaintances from the porn world. My thoughts on the matter were that those people will never again be a part of my life, I no longer have to do business with them, and their thoughts don’t matter to me anymore, so why be nice?

Does anybody else see the error of my thinking? Good thing X3 didn’t take that attitude while dealing with me all those years.

So here I go, continuing the process of “growing up”. By the way things look today, that’s gonna be a very long process indeed.

8 thoughts on “Immaturity and Being Mean

  1. Although not spiritually an infant, I have to claim the exact some struggles with a family member who is not a Christian. My first instinct is to lash out at her and/or simply not have a relationship with her. Then God so gently reminds me that I’m all the Jesus she’s got. If she doesn’t see Him in me, she’s not going to see Him anywhere. That’s a heavy responsibility we’ve got, isn’t it??

  2. Although not spiritually an infant, I have to claim the exact some struggles with a family member who is not a Christian. My first instinct is to lash out at her and/or simply not have a relationship with her. Then God so gently reminds me that I’m all the Jesus she’s got. If she doesn’t see Him in me, she’s not going to see Him anywhere. That’s a heavy responsibility we’ve got, isn’t it??

  3. I just love your heart Donny… and I don’t think you are spiritually immature in all matters of spiritual nature. It is a constant process…have any of us arrived- I mean really? I bet your pastor would tell you that he still on the journey of spiritual growth. I think the key is to always no matter how old we are, no matter how many accolades we’ve received, no matter how big our church, our ministry or how much we think we know- we must remain teachable. You obviously by the contents of this blog have remained teachable; pliable to the point that your eyes were opened because your heart was soft enough to receive.

    I say Hallelujah!

    …am I allowed to say that? 😉

  4. I just love your heart Donny… and I don’t think you are spiritually immature in all matters of spiritual nature. It is a constant process…have any of us arrived- I mean really? I bet your pastor would tell you that he still on the journey of spiritual growth. I think the key is to always no matter how old we are, no matter how many accolades we’ve received, no matter how big our church, our ministry or how much we think we know- we must remain teachable. You obviously by the contents of this blog have remained teachable; pliable to the point that your eyes were opened because your heart was soft enough to receive.

    I say Hallelujah!

    …am I allowed to say that? 😉

  5. Donny,

    I’ve been reading your blog the past few months and I am so impressed with your honesty and vulnerability. Even though it may seem to you that you screw up a lot, letting it “air out” on the blog is a real step toward the growth you seek.

    My heart broke for you when you wrote that it no longer appears to be a realistic solution for a marriage reconciliation between you and the person you used to be married to. So many times I have charged into things thinking I knew which great things God was about to provide for me, and then the door slammed and I hit the deck. Of course, there have always been good unplanned things that have happened as well, to remind me who is really in control here.

    I too have been through a marital break-up and a lot of personal upheaval. Thanks for helping me so much with your honest words and your open emotions. If you are ever in Portland (or anywhere in the Pacific NW), I would love to buy you an amazing cup of local coffee or a kickass microbrew.

    Best,
    Sean

  6. Donny,

    I’ve been reading your blog the past few months and I am so impressed with your honesty and vulnerability. Even though it may seem to you that you screw up a lot, letting it “air out” on the blog is a real step toward the growth you seek.

    My heart broke for you when you wrote that it no longer appears to be a realistic solution for a marriage reconciliation between you and the person you used to be married to. So many times I have charged into things thinking I knew which great things God was about to provide for me, and then the door slammed and I hit the deck. Of course, there have always been good unplanned things that have happened as well, to remind me who is really in control here.

    I too have been through a marital break-up and a lot of personal upheaval. Thanks for helping me so much with your honest words and your open emotions. If you are ever in Portland (or anywhere in the Pacific NW), I would love to buy you an amazing cup of local coffee or a kickass microbrew.

    Best,
    Sean

  7. Right on, MT of X3. That is how the lost will be won. Did Jesus ever successfully argue anyone into the Kingdom of God? It wasn’t His style, and I wonder why it becomes ours sometimes. We read He spent time in the temple teaching, and most likely the Pharisees wanted to go round and round with Him (like Pat with Dalen). The major need for all believers is to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. That comes by repentance which Donnie seems to have a grasp on….VERY important, well actually essential. I too have had it up to here with mean-spirited theological “experts”, all head, no heart when the Bible says God is Love. Say what?! Pastors sabotage their churches micromanaging every littlle doctrinal gray area and continually correcting and admonishing people’s wording as they speak the Word to one another. (My pastor has a degree in linguistics and gets caught in this too often.) Look out for the ones who are always “busting” other Christians’ beliefs while thinking they are doing God a favor. John 17: 21 says it all, and again He drives it home in vs 23–Jesus’ groaning wish that believers would all be one so the world would have a reason to believe. But no, most Christians have so little concern for the lost, they would much rather be right than just stop arguing doctrine and show some love. It’s all about pride and winning. There is more congeniality in the neighborhood bar than between some of these churches professing Christ. That 79% number is probably representative. Quarreling really holds up revival on a large scale– which is what we all want, but apparently not bad enough. I repent for getting drawn into doctrinal arguments and having to win. I’m at peace with what Bill teaches, I know it’s of God, but I’m not going to argue with people on his behalf.

  8. Right on, MT of X3. That is how the lost will be won. Did Jesus ever successfully argue anyone into the Kingdom of God? It wasn’t His style, and I wonder why it becomes ours sometimes. We read He spent time in the temple teaching, and most likely the Pharisees wanted to go round and round with Him (like Pat with Dalen). The major need for all believers is to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. That comes by repentance which Donnie seems to have a grasp on….VERY important, well actually essential. I too have had it up to here with mean-spirited theological “experts”, all head, no heart when the Bible says God is Love. Say what?! Pastors sabotage their churches micromanaging every littlle doctrinal gray area and continually correcting and admonishing people’s wording as they speak the Word to one another. (My pastor has a degree in linguistics and gets caught in this too often.) Look out for the ones who are always “busting” other Christians’ beliefs while thinking they are doing God a favor. John 17: 21 says it all, and again He drives it home in vs 23–Jesus’ groaning wish that believers would all be one so the world would have a reason to believe. But no, most Christians have so little concern for the lost, they would much rather be right than just stop arguing doctrine and show some love. It’s all about pride and winning. There is more congeniality in the neighborhood bar than between some of these churches professing Christ. That 79% number is probably representative. Quarreling really holds up revival on a large scale– which is what we all want, but apparently not bad enough. I repent for getting drawn into doctrinal arguments and having to win. I’m at peace with what Bill teaches, I know it’s of God, but I’m not going to argue with people on his behalf.

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