The following is a fictional memoir and does not reflect the attitudes of anyone I know personally, though it may reveal the inner struggles we are all trying to overcome as we become the church He died for us to be.
Worship to day didn't do much for me. I wasn't inspired. They're supposed to inspire me and I just didn't feel it. People around me were raising and clapping their hands. A couple in front of me stood up and I couldn't see. The worship leader did not instruct us to stand up. I was doing it right and they were doing it wrong, yet they seemed inspired and I went away feeling worse than before.
The scripture must have been a good one, because I heard a lot of "Amen" and "That's Right" from folks around me but I guess I just didn't get it. It was from 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us."
To me church should be about helping me be successful. I mean, God wants me to be successful right? That way I can show him how good I am. I want Him to be proud of me and pleased with me. If I'm successful, then I'll give credit to God. Wouldn't he want that?
The pastor kept saying that as "jars of clay" in the hands of God there will be no doubt that the power comes from him. Then he read from Luke 9:24-25 "For whoever would save his life would lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses of forfeits himself?"
Lose my life for God's? On purpose? That's just not the kind of message I'm looking for. What's in that for me? I'm looking for a church where I can feel good about myself and my ambitions. I think God wants to feel good and be successful for Him. This "jars of clay" idea just doesn't fit my idea of God.
I think I'll have to look elsewhere for the kind of inspiration I need. I don't mean leave the church! Good heavens, no. I have some really good friends there. They are humble, simple people, never complaining about what they don't have, but giving thanks for what God has given them. They are true servants. If I had a nickel for every time they brought me a meal when I was sick or when our baby was born or my mother passed away, well then I'd have a lot of nickels. I'd probably be able to start tithing! Ha-Ha- I'm just kidding. Anyway, I wonder why worship can't get inspired me to be more like those people.
For now, I'll just have to rely on myself for my own inspiration and work my hardest to get ahead in this world to make God proud of me.
Do you find anything here that resembles your own struggle to understand who you are to be "In Christ?" Do you value your own success. Do you devalue the "jars of clay" in which God has chosen to store His richest treasure - (you)?